The cold weather blast that came through the weekend prior to Christmas seemed to sneak up on us. Once again, I was amazed by the difference between the forecasted temperatures and what actually occurred. Remember, it is important to know your land and have the most accurate information possible.
From the small home garden to the large agricultural operations, it is very important to have a good thermometer. If you have 20 acres or more, you should have more than one placed in different locations on the property, as temperatures can vary on the same parcel. Be sure to look at proper mounting instructions for the thermometer you buy. Landowners should record low temperatures and conditions and compare them to the forecast. This will help you develop a pattern about your land for future cold events.
The other important element is to have accurate information. Typically, television and newspapers are not overly reliable sources for farming or land management. Look for websites or forecasts that are more exact about your specific location. Several of the County Extension Service Agents have a service that you can subscribe to and call for a more precise forecast. During the cold events preceding Christmas 2012, I saw an 8-degree difference between the local television forecast and actual temperatures. Having the above information will definitely help your agricultural business perform better during Florida’s most difficult time to predict weather.
column by BRAD WEIHRAUCH
BIO: Brad Weihrauch is a Polk County native. He grew up around a family business of agriculture and customer service. After Winter Haven High School, he went on to complete his education at Polk Community College and Warner Southern College. After serving 17 years in customer service for a large retailer, Weihrauch returned to his agriculture roots and founded RWC, an agri-service and management company, in 2002.