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How the changes in weather affect our farmers

READ MORE: Changes in weather affect our farmers
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All this month we have been talking about changes here at News Channel 3. And perhaps nothing affects us more than changes in the weather. Those changes can often determines things like where we live, what we wear, and what we do on the weekends. For farmers, their very livelihood depends on it the weather. Meteorologist Sonya Stevens took a look at the relationship between agriculture and weather forecasting and how it has changed over the past 60 years. In the 1940's, farmers relied on sayings to help try to forecast the weather. "People a lot of times back then were still relying on signs and old wives' tales and things that have been passed down from generation to generation. Some which actually worked, but a lot more science now," said Al Hight, Brunswick County Extension Director. Science in the form of satellites, radars, and advanced forecasting models are used to forecast and track storm systems; this is key for farmers. "So they know when it’s coming when the rainfall event is coming, when its going to get below freezing. It’s a little more accurate then it used to be but we are still worried about the weather," said Hight. Greg Swain has been farming in Brunswick County for thirty years, he said things are much drier now. "Drainage was the big issue thirty years ago, today we really worry about when we are going to get the next rain.” Farmers depend on rain for corn and soybeans because these crops are not irrigated. Strawberry and blueberry growers have additional concerns. "You have got to worry about all those things. The temperature, what the dew points are, wind speeds are so that can I do this, can I frost protect this crop," said Swain. Even though weather forecasting has vastly improved, it's still a work in progress. The bottom line is the more accurate the weather forecasts are the better off the farmers are.

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