If you are thinking about planting aboveground crops in April 2019, the best days to do it are April 11-12.
If you are planning a May wedding next year, the best days to tie the knot are May 15-16.
If you are going camping next July, the best days to do it are July 12-14.
Those are just a small sampling of predictions recently published in the 2019 Old Farmer’s Almanac.
“Yes and no,” said John Navinsky, when asked if he believes in the validity of the Old Farmer’s Almanac. “I’ll look at the dates for the best time to wean calves.”
Navinsky is a crop producer and raises livestock on the family farm in the Easton area.
He said his grandfather regularly consulted the Old Farmer’s Almanac, but his father never did.
Navinsky said he looks at the almanac predictions on the internet.
“I don’t know anybody that completely farms by what’s in the almanac,” Navinsky said.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac was established in 1792 by Robert B. Thomas. Each year, it contains astronomical calculations that are used to create a farmer’s calendar that predicts such things as when to plant, when to breed animals and when to make jams and jellies.
The almanac also gives weather forecasts for all regions of the country.
“We derive our weather forecasts from a secret formula that was devised by the founder of this Almanac, Robert B. Thomas, in 1792,” according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac in its explanation of how the publication predicts the weather. “Thomas believed that weather on Earth was influenced by sunspots, which are magnetic storms on the surface of the Sun.”
In its explanation, the Old Farmer’s Almanac states that the weather prediction formula has been refined over the years with “state-of-the-art technology and modern scientific calculations.”
Long-range predictions are made by studying solar activity, climatology and meteorology.
“We predict weather trends and events by comparing solar patterns and historical weather conditions with current solar activity,” according to the weather prediction explanation.
Marshall Shepherd, director of the University of Georgia’s Atmospheric Sciences Program, was quoted on CBS News that people shouldn’t take the almanac too seriously and that “modern weather forecasting uses advanced computer models and technology and is actually pretty good out to about a week or so.”
Beth Hall, a co-owner of Gronis Hardware in downtown Leavenworth, said customers regularly come to the store to find an Old Farmer’s Almanac calendar.
“A lot of people believe in it,” she said.
Hall said people consult the calendar as to the best time to plant and most productive time to fish.
“It’s interesting to look at but, no, we don’t follow it,” said Rodney Parsons, who runs a cattle, corn, soybean and wheat operation in western Leavenworth County.
According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, this winter will be milder than normal with above normal precipitation in the Leavenworth area. The weather next spring is predicted to be warmer than normal with more rainfall than usual.
“We believe that nothing in the universe happens haphazardly, that there is a cause-and-effect pattern to all phenomena,” according to the publication, which states that “our results are almost always very close to our traditional claim of 80 percent.”