The freezing cold temperatures this month have us thinking longingly of spring—and here at My Dad’s Sweet Corn, that means thinking ahead towards the 2018 sweet corn crop! According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the worst (and coldest) part of winter should only be around for a few more weeks. But exactly how much faith should we put in these predictions? We thought we’d go straight to Dad and get an actual farmer’s opinion—and learn what The Almanac’s predictions might mean for this year’s sweet corn.

What are The Farmer’s Almanac’s predictions for Indiana?

According to The Almanac’s long range forecast, this winter will actually be warmer than normal, with the coldest periods in early January and mid-February. With the warmth comes less snow than usual in Indiana, and when April and May come around, the weather will both warmer and drier than we typically see. Same goes for summer—it will be hotter and drier than normal.  

Does Dad trust weather predictions?

So—should we put our trust in this prediction? Dad says no.

“I do think the 30 day forecast can be halfway decent,” he says. “But while long range weather predictions may show trends, they have to be taken with a grain of salt.”

When it comes down to it, you can’t really predict the weather. However, Dad does pay attention to the 6-10 day forecast, especially when it comes to planting. And planting is where, if The Almanac is right, this prediction could have an impact on the 2018 crop.

If The Almanac is right, what does it mean for this year’s sweet corn crop?

“I don’t find the winter weather to be an indicator for the summer,” says Dad. “We’re most concerned with spring. Usually the spring is a wet time of year for this part of the world, and we hope for a bit of a drier spring to get the crop planted. A drier spring would help get the crop off to an early start, which might help it get through the hotter summer months.”

What are Dad’s predictions?

“It’s always a moving target,” he says. “And no year is the same. The one thing I know is that next year won’t be like last year. But, no matter what, we try to prepare for the different weather situations that may come up during the spring/summer to have the best sweet corn possible.”

So there you have it! Take The Old Farmer’s Almanac’s long range predictions with a grain of salt. But if The Almanac is right about a drier spring, it’s a good sign for the sweet corn crop—and a good sign for those of us wishing for warmer days and delicious corn!

What do you think about weather predictions? Are there any techniques—scientific or otherwise—that you use to predict the weather?