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Are You a Weather Watcher?

We definitely are around here! Not only is the weather a big factor in our business, it is also something we have been interested in from a young age.

We would watch the clouds and pick out animals or objects in them during our tobacco hoeing days. Also as kids every morning right after watching and singing "O Canada" when CBC came back on the air, we watched the NOAA weather forecast with "Joanie" our favourite meteorologist, while eating our breakfast. Our grandparents always shared their weather wisdom with us as little rhymes or sayings and we still recall those verses often. "Pink sky at night, sailors delight; pink sky in the morning, sailors take warning", is one that comes to mind.

Since we have grown up observing the weather, and we still keep a close eye on rainfall for our agronomy business and our farm, it seemed like a great opportunity to join CoCoRaHS Canada. CoCoRaHS is the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network. It is a volunteer network of weather observers of all ages and backgrounds measuring and mapping precipitation in our communities. We joined back in 2015 and have sent in our daily precipitation measurements ever since.

Rain is a good thing! Crops are dependent on water during their entire lifecycle in order to survive and thrive. Rain is part of the nitrogen cycle. Rain water contains nitrate, the most plant available form of nitrogen and an important macro-nutrient. Nitrogen is one of the 3 key macro-nutrients that plants need to thrive, it is necessary for the development of lush foliage. Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium are 3 nutrients known in plant agriculture as the macro-nutrients because plants need them in the largest quantities. No wonder we as farmers are thankful every time it rains.

Whether it is sunny with no precipitation or a stormy day, the weather can affect and impact what we do each day. That's one of the best parts of agriculture in our opinion, it's different everyday and often those changes depend on the weather. I think it was in grade 6 for a speech about weather that my final line was "we'll weather the weather, whatever the weather, whether we like it or not". I can't think of a more fitting motto for farmers!

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