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Projections good for farmers

Projections good for farmers
A new winter forecast for the region is coming as good news for local farmers.
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration has released a long-term weather forecast extending into March 2013. That forecast calls for a wetter than normal next few months for Tennessee and Kentucky.
The federal agency’s Climate Prediction Center has forecast above normal precipitation for the two-state region and above normal temperatures for West Tennessee.
The agency also released a seasonal drought outlook for the nation, extending to March 31. In that model, drought conditions are expected to improve while drought conditions to the west are expected to persist.
The local forecast will be welcome news for area farmers whose 2012 harvests were devastated by a severe drought in the region.
“We are in desperate need of winter moisture,” said Tim Smith, office director of the Obion County University of Tennessee Extension Service. “The success of farming for next year’s crop is critically dependent on the rainfall we get this winter.”
Smith said local grain harvests were severely impacted by extremely hot and dry conditions this past year.
He said this coming year Obion County farmers will plant between 60,000 and 80,000 acres of corn, 90,000 to 110,000 acres of soybeans, about 25,000 acres of wheat, about 2,000 acres of grain sorghum and about 3,000 acres of cotton.
Obion County ranks among the top grain producers in the state. This coming spring planting season will begin in late March when farmers begin planting corn, according to Smith. Published in The Messenger 12.21.12