Are you prepared for another hot summer?
2018 was certainly a year to remember when it comes to weather, starting with the freezing Beast from the East, and going on to be one of the hottest, driest summers on record. The Met Office reported that average rainfall across the UK in June was just 48% of normal, with some areas reporting 50 consecutive dry days. The effect on farming was significant, with gate prices rocketing for certain vegetables, and livestock farmers struggling to grow essential feed to get them through the winter months. So what is in store for 2019, and is the farming industry ready for another severe weather challenge?
A record breaking year so far
2019 may only be a few months old, but the signs are that it is already shaping up to be hotter, and drier, than average. While we were shivering in the cold of the Beast last year, this February saw record temperatures as high as 21 in London, with Scotland reaching a February high of 18.3. Nationwide, the mean temperature in February was 3.5 higher than the 1981-2010 average.
Not only has it been warm, it has been dry too. East Anglia experience just 25% of normal rainfall in April, with some areas getting just 10%. Charts show that the whole of the East of England and much of the west of Scotland were significantly down on their average rainfall at this crucial time for sowing and germination.
Long term predictions
Met Office forecaster Alex Deakin is predicting a warm summer ahead: "The longer range, three month outlook is suggesting that higher pressure is more likely than lower pressure, and higher temperatures are more likely than lower temperatures,” he says. “The trend does look dryer than average."
His prediction was backed up by the journal Geophysical Research Letters, who stated that it’s increasingly likely that 2019 will be the hottest year on record.
A worldwide phenomenon
It’s not just the UK that is warming; temperatures are on the rise across the globe. 2018 was the fourth warmest year on record across the globe and nine of the ten hottest years on record have occurred since 2005. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the USA reports that this year saw the 43rd consecutive January, and the 409th consecutive month, with temperatures above the 20th century average.
Here in the UK, bookmakers, Coral, have slashed the odds of 2019 being the hottest year on record to an odds-on price of 1/2.
Unfortunately, there is nothing that Kilco can do to change the weather, but we can help you to rise to the challenges it presents. For example, when conditions are tough, you need to make sure that you minimise unnecessary losses through infection and disease. Kilco experts can help you to create a comprehensive biosecurity programme that will prevent any unwanted impact on already stretched productivity, yield or running costs.
From specially formulated cleaning and disinfecting products, such as Ecofoam, Virex and Viroshield, to targeted products for transport, storage and food processing plants, Kilco will help you improve output at every stage, from farm to fork, to compensate for weather related losses.
At Kilco, now in partnership with Kersia, we’re constantly developing and refining our products to meet the challenges of a changing world, including the impacts of climate change. Together we can make sure that the farming industry is ready for the warmer, drier weather with proactive protocols in place to keep production efficient and cost-effective.
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