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05 March 2011 - Let’s Talk About the Weather

The subject of this week’s ‘Samuelson Sez’ is something we talk about a great deal; it’s probably the number one topic of conversation in rural coffee shops this time of the year. It is also something over which we have no control. I am talking about weather.

Wherever I travel this year, all I hear people say, “Is this winter ever going to end? It has been one of the toughest winters that we have had in decades.” People are tired of it, including yours truly.

For the first time in my career, I was unable to attend two major conventions because of weather. I wasn’t able to travel to Atlanta for the American Farm Bureau Convention because of weather problems.
Then, the day I was to fly from Chicago to Denver to attend the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Convention, 21 inches of snow fell in Chicago and all flights were cancelled (it was the third largest one-day snowfall in the history of the city) and I didn’t make that meeting. As recently as a week ago, our television crew couldn’t get to the New York Farm Show because of weather problems.

Some of the warmer climates have not escaped the wrath of winter either. At one point earlier this year, 49 of the 50 states had snow on the ground. Strawberry and other produce crops were frozen in Florida. In Arizona, the desert city of Scottsdale recorded the coldest February temperature in its history and the beautiful flowers were frozen black. Consumers across the country felt the impact when lettuce prices shot up because the crop in western Arizona and the imperial Valley was killed by a freeze.

Here are some other “global warming” highlights...folks on the East Coast were hammered by several major blizzards; Chicago registered the largest February snow total in the city’s history; many parts of the Plains and Midwest experienced ice storms and heavy snow storms that shut down movement of grains and livestock to market; and the Super Bowl in Dallas became the Snow Bowl as Pittsburgh and Green Bay fans from the “northern tundra” had problems getting to the “warm South”.

I fully understand why people are tired of winter and are hoping that it will soon come to an end. It will, but with its end will come a heavy snow melt and flooding across much of our Midwest crop land as well. So we will continue to do what we always do, talk about it, but we won’t control it. I close with this thought....thank God for global warming! Think how cold it would have been this winter without it.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.