Technology editor Ben Potter brings you the latest in technology news, and how you can apply it to farming.
Not So Fast, Farmer's Almanac!
Aug 26, 2014
Like many people, I enjoy getting the latest Farmer’s Almanac updates. I’ve even purchased a copy or two over the years. The publication has a pretty rich history dating back to 1818. Surely it has earned its spot in the pantheon of trusted weather resources.
The Farmer’s Almanac is not without its naysayers, especially in light of its botched summer prediction of an "oppressively humid and wet" eastern Corn Belt and a "warm to hot" western Corn Belt, a guesstimate the Washington Post called "laughably wrong."
Meanwhile, media blog Gawker recently criticized the publication for being "basically the ‘unskewed polls’ of the weather world, using secret formulas and zero skill to predict major weather events only to have things turn out wrong."
This is not to be confused with The Old Farmer’s Almanac, a separate publication that has its own dubious accuracy issues. It claims to be 80% accurate but refuses to disclose its methodology. It’s even proud of this secrecy, citing a formula that is kept under lock and key in a black box in its New Hampshire offices.
It’s all something to keep in mind as you ponder these latest predictions.
So should we brace ourselves for a horrible winter? Possibly – after all, the Farmer’s Almanac has been right before. But don’t make it your only source of weather prognostication.