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2014 Summer Weather Outlook
By ANDREW LOGSDON | firstname.lastname@example.org
Winter might be over, but its effects could last all summer long.
It was one for the record books- nearly seventy-five inches of snow, and long-lasting bitterly cold temperatures.
It’s WFFT’s special report on this upcoming 2014 weather outlook.
Spring has been slow to warm up.
Below normal temperatures, and very wet conditions, have caused delays for crops in the fields and home gardens are still waiting to bloom.
We talk to the experts about what you can expect as we finally heat up.
"The rule of thumb is if you don't get crops in the ground, let's say corn, by the 15th of May, any time after that, you're looking at losing a bushel of corn a day,” says Allen County Extension Office Agricultural Educator Gonzalee Martin.
That mid-May mark is coming up soon.
Snow pack and frozen ground all winter, and now, a cool, wet spring, has delayed planting season.
"It's going to be a little bit more of a challenge, a little shorter window, you never know what the weather is going to do from now until the month of May,” says Wabash-area farmer Todd Dale.
Dale grows corn and soybeans near Wabash.
Last week- this is what his fields looked like.
He says they haven't even started the prep work- let alone get seeds in the ground.
"We're already off to a little bit later of a start, with some of the pre-plant stuff. Fighting some of the battles now we're used to maybe getting to at the beginning of April and the end of March,” Dale says.
Two summers ago, the drought decimated crops.
Last summer was so wet, dale says it caused some crop damage.
But he's optimistic.
"For the time, and the fact that we haven't had very much heat, I think it's in pretty good shape. The wind that we've had I think has helped, even on cloudy days. If there's a small amount of heat it helps dry out the crops,” Dale says.
The same problems impacting the fields could affect your gardens at home.
"I would say, I can never remember being three weeks back, and that's how I feel we are right now, as far as new growth and what not,” says Plant Center General Manager Brian Miller.
Miller says many of these plants, flowers and even vegetables are late to bloom.
Many of our area's trees only started sprouting buds in the past few days.
"Well, everything's pushed back a few weeks. There's a lot of plants that are still dormant that normally you'd be seeing some growth. A lot of people are asking about roses, they're not seeing growth on the roses yet. A lot of perennials are still showing dormancy, they're not showing any leaf. It's just a waiting game,” Miller says.
And experts say we're also waiting for bugs.
Martin says this winter's constant snow pack might have protected the bugs that spend winter underground.
"But you've got some insects that fly in on the winds that don't over winter here in the state. So we can still have a problem with insects with those type of insects... But at the same time, we have some insects that over winter underneath the ground. And those insects, kind of hard to tell yet what kind of thresholds we might have,” Martin says.
"I think they're going to start coming out. I think they're going to come out like they normally do. From what i can tell, i don't think there's going to be a large impact,” says Diana Wallace of Arab Pest Control.
Monday’s high temperature was 48, nearly 20 degrees below normal.
And those below-normal temps are expected all week- plus all the rain.
And remember what they said earlier, the May 15th deadline for planting is just over two weeks away- hopefully Mother Nature will give them a break.