The average temperature for July in Ormstown was the hottest since the station began in 1965 with an average of 23.7 degrees that is 2.6 degrees above normal. The first record was established in 1975 with 22.2 degrees which stood for 31 years until it was broken in 2006 with 22.4 followed in close succession by 22.7 in 2010, 23.0 in 2018 and finally 23.7 in 2020. There have been opinions expressed that winter temperatures are increasing faster than summer temperatures but this rapid succession of increases for the month of July would throw some doubt on that theory.

I like to reference Burlington, Vermont due to the proximity to Ormstown and the existence of 130 years of records. While their order of record years closely follows that of Ormstown, there are some surprises that appear many years ago:

TEN HOTTEST JULYS SINCE RECORDS BEGAN

(Burlington 130 years / Ormstown 54 years)
Burlington, VT 2020-2018-1921-2019-1975-1995-1897-1994-1999-1949
Ormstown 2020-2018-2019-2010-2011-2006-1975-1999-1988-1995-1994

The excessive heat this month has created additional stress on farm crops already suffering from a lack of moisture. I mentioned in the June weather report that Ormstown had received only 83 mms. or 3.26 inches of rainfall since April 14. This drought continued for another ten days into July so the total in the three month period April 14 to July 10 is now only 91 mms. or 3.57 inches which is roughly a one month supply. Fortunately, 70 mms. fell in the last 21 days of July which has saved the corn crop at the critical time of pollination. The soybeans, which had looked stressed at the end of June, now seem to be the better appearing of the two crops. Hay and pasture are still in short supply but there is still time to produce a good second or third crop if the rains continue.

On that note, I would like to remind our readers of the year 1965. Only 2.26 inches of rain had fallen in May and June. The corn crop was struggling in early July, similar to this year, to the extent that a Macdonald College professor who was doing crop research work on our farm at the time decided it might be a good idea to try to extend an existing irrigation line into a nearby grain corn field. It was a challenge trying to move the lines in between the growing corn rows. For-tunately, the rain began in mid July permitting us to abandon the difficult and time-consuming project. Then in the month of August, the field received 9.1 inches of rain and a further 4 inches in September leaving us wondering how to get the crop harvested with no tile drains.

“BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR FROM MOTHER NATURE”

Some of you might also recall the growing conditions in 1972 when Ormstown received 3.9 inches of rain in May, 5.2 inches in June, 5.0 inches in July and 7.2 inches in August for a total of 21.3 inches and all the farmers were looking for a dual wheel to put on our hay balers that were sinking in the mud.

Heat units for July were a 54 year record at 869 giving us a total of 1920 beginning on May four. This is 58 more than normal and 294 above the cold, wet spring of 2019. There were fifteen days of 30 degrees or above in Ormstown while Burlington had eighteen days over 90 degrees Farhenheit.

Peter Finlayson

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Entreprise de presse et de communication

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