I really want to know if there is a farmer out there that doesn't know as much about the weather, or better, more, than our local news forecasters do? If you don't, then you better try and find yourself another occupation.
Thankfully, weather has been a hobby of mine since I was around 7 years old. I have been keeping weather records for 35 years every day. I am just about as aware of what is going to happen as Ben Franklin flying kites, but yesterday fooled me.
We had a storm roar through here that gave me about a 45 minute warning. I had just listened to the news and there was no indication of an approaching storm, but I could plainly see the shift in wind direction, temperature, and cloud formations to know that I better get moving.
I had just finished winding some of my hops and stopped winding the rest, knowing a wind was coming and could easily break the delicately wound vines. I turned off my gravity feed irrigation system from the creek by the house, and barely got my wheelbarrows turned over when the storm hit with fury.
Lightning the length of the state of Florida streaked form cloud to ground, winds briefly topping 45 mph, and pea size hail along with 1.1 inches of rain in 35 minutes hit the farm taking a toil.
Damage was moderate here on the farm. All the remaining blooms on my blueberries were knocked off and 15 hop vines were broken off of the twine. Oh well, I have lost approximately 10 pounds of blueberries ( I didn't have that many here that I allowed to bloom) and probably about 20 pounds of hops were lost--new hop vines will come back, but will cone up before full growth of the vines.
I am showing a picture of my blueberry bush damage with some blueberries present and some with flower damage.
There is crop insurance that you can get on some of your crops. If you are in full production and have substantial investment in your crops, you may want to consider getting some. Be aware of the weather, and by all means listen to what is going on out there. Severe weather is on the increase, don't think for a minute that this will change. There is even a possibility of frost tonight!