May rains hold back planting


MILLPORT, Ohio – May didn’t bring any better weather than April for farmers, according to U.S. weather observer Edwin R. Copeland from his post in southern Columbiana County.

Copeland recorded 15 days of rain in May, including a two-day total of 1.93 inches May 13 and 15.

May is the first month with below average temperatures in 2002, according to records. The nights of May 19-22 had temperatures below 40 degrees, with 28 degrees recorded May 22. The hottest day was May 30 with 85 degrees.

With below average temperatures and not a lot of sunshine, farmers didn’t have much planting time, Copeland said.

“We won’t know how much the late planting has hurt the crops. It depends on the summer and how soon it frosts this fall,” Copeland said, noting he has seen late-planted crops end up being the best ever.

Near Millport, farmers are experiencing one of the best hay crops ever. The season was two weeks ahead before the cold weather hit, and now things are right on schedule, he said.

The 109-year averages for May are: 58 degrees, 3.58 inches of rain and 60 percent sunshine.

Averages for May 2002 are: 56.2 degrees, 4.67 inches of rain and 40 percent sunshine.

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