WSU: WARMER SPRING GOOD FOR GROWERS

Published online: Jun 25, 2012 Potato Harvesting, Herbicide, Irrigation, Fertilizer, Insecticide, Fungicide, Seed Potatoes, Potato Equipment
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PROSSER, Wash.-After 2011's chilly spring temperatures, this spring was a relief to Washington's growers. Although not unusually hot, the relative warmth was welcome, especially when compared to the record cold and the associated crop damage of last spring.

"Despite periods of seasonally cool weather, no major frost or weather-related crop damage has been reported during the early portion of Washington's 2012 growing season," said Washington State University AgWeatherNet Director Gerrit Hoogenboom. "Unlike 2011, Mother Nature has for the most part cooperated with Washington's agricultural interests this year."

Overall, temperatures were around average during the March to May period. Spring temperatures at the WSU Prosser Research and Extension Center were 3.3 degrees warmer than last year, while May temperatures were 3.6 degrees warmer.
 
Spring 2012 rainfall was slightly above average at WSU Prosser due to a wet March and April but, again, conditions were notably drier than last spring. March was somewhat cool and wet, with Long Beach recording 15 inches of rain during the month, including 3 inches on March 12. Notable weather events included snowfall at coastal regions on March 12, and cold and snowy conditions from Pullman to Spokane on March 21. By contrast, April was quite warm and featured an unusually early heat wave that led to several AgWeatherNet monthly high temperature records.  On April 23, Moxee, Prosser and Wenatchee weather stations all recorded highs in the upper 80s, temperatures more typical of July than April. Many areas recorded warmer monthly maximum temperatures during the April 2012 heat wave than during June of 2011, even though June is typically 15 degrees warmer than April. The Prosser station recorded the warmest April average low temperature since 1994, while the monthly average high temperature was seven degrees warmer than last April. April 26 was a uniquely wet day in Washington, with all 138 AgWeatherNet stations recording rainfall.
 
For more information on Washington's spring weather, as well as other weather information, visit the Spring Weather Review on the AgWeatherNet website,
www.weather.wsu.edu.

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