La Nina

It looks like we are in the La Nina climate cycle of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) this winter and predictions are that it will extend into the spring. This means that we are generally going to experience a warmer and drier than average winter. What does that mean for my neck of the woods and what does that mean for my production of plants? How will my operation be affected? Well here are some things to think about.

Here are some graphs that will better explain the averages. Remember that these are averages!
This graph shows the La Nina years and how that compares to the normal average.

This graph shows higher than usual temperatures during the winter for the Tampa area when looking at the averages of the La Nina years.

I find that this is an interesting graph as it shows that we might have more freezes than usual depending upon whether or not the La Nina is strong or weak even though overall winter temperatures may be warmer.

How does this affect production? If you are scheduling plants for a particular week remember the growing degree days will be higher and therefore development of plants will be more rapid. It means that you will probably use more water as water loss from the plants is a function of temperature. That might mean that your costs might be slightly higher for production. It means that you will more rapidly use fertilizer if you are using controlled release fertilizers. It means that spring sales will probably start a little earlier and you should have your labor lined up for production, shipping, and delivery. It means pests may stick around longer and start earlier and you will need to be vigilant. It means you shouldn't think that freezes wont be a problem this winter. They might and you will need to keep an ear to the forecast. I'm sure that you can probably think of a few other ways that this climate phenomenon will affect production. If you like please share with the other readers of this blog and post a comment!

For more economic analysis on climate data refer to my previous post about climate by clicking on the label heading called "climate" on the side bar of this blog.

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