Pat Guinan, University of Missouri Extension climatologist, recently reflected on the weather patterns of the past year and looked back on how the temperatures and rainfall affected crops and producers.
On average, Guinan said that you get “near normal” temperatures when looking back on 2018 and doing the math. Nevertheless, Guinan says that the weather was “anything but that” overall.
April 2018 was the second coldest on record dating back to 1895. It was followed by the hottest May on record that reached back 124 years, according to Guinan. The hot weather didn’t stop in May – June ended up being the eighth hottest on record, with farmers facing problems all year-long as a result of these extremes. While it was too cold to plant, initially, it eventually became too warm and dry to harvest.
By November, there were record-setting early blizzard warnings in the area. This led to soybeans ending up stranded in snow-covered fields.
Overall, the spring was extremely dry, and these conditions continued through September. The lack of water and high heat negatively impacted grass farmers. A lack of forage growth of grass and hay for livestock made it difficult on producers.
“The largest precipitation deficits in the central United States built up in Missouri,” Guinan claimed.
As Guinan looks ahead to 2019, he remains “amazed” at the extremes in weather that happened over the course of the past year.