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A Fighter Pilot Farmer's Perspective on Weather


Colonel’s Blog, Earthdate 4 April 2023…

Hey Y’all!

Good Tuesday morning from Air2Ground Farms! The air is damp this morning with the temps near 70. The forecast is for temps near 80 today with severe thunderstorms this evening and overnight. We are under a large hail, high wind, and tornado threat. Looks like lows in the 30s Wed and Thu night, then by Sunday night lows are in the 50s. The animals are great this morning. The 5 hogs remaining on the farm are growing nicely and will be ready for the processor in just under 2 weeks. Our next round of piglets will arrive towards the end of the month. For the first time since fall ’21, we are going to have a week or two without any pigs. We are always excited to get new pigs! They are so energetic and fun-loving that you can’t help but smile. Similarly, by the time they are 300+ pounds and pushy to get their way, we are ready for them to move to freezer-camp. We seriously considered farrowing (breeding) our own piglets but decided to leave that to others who enjoy it. The beef chicks dealing with prolapsed vents are good this morning. Their insides are still inside, obviously a good thing. Given the temperature forecast, it looks like they will move onto pasture this weekend. The layer chicks are doing amazing and will move outside at the same time. Yesterday, we spent some time with the chainsaw and fence mending equipment. A few weeks ago, a wind storm blew a tree down onto one of the fences and we were able to get it off of the fence and mend the break. While we were at it, we got a couple more trees off of the fence and mended another break. The weather was amazing, which means by the time I got into the shower, I had over a dozen ticks on me. Time to break out the tick spray anytime working in the brush. Today, we are going to cut and split a few trees we downed when making way for our power lines and prep for potential damaging hail and winds. The top-3 pics are Stella and Shelley being cute this morning. By-the-way, Brig Gen Dickens approved my Uniform of the Day selection, making me feel a lot better about the whole ordeal! The bottom pic is the amazing sunrise this morning.

I heard someone comment a few days ago that farmers are more effected by the weather than any other profession. As a fighter-pilot farmer I just chuckled. In a flying squadron, your life is governed by the schedule. You never know for sure what you are doing the next day until the schedule is published in the evening. Often that is dependent on the forecast weather. Common practice says you don’t cancel a flight due to the forecast, but you may not plan an air-to-ground sortie if the entire area is going to be under cloud cover. To support those types of decisions, the USAF has entire teams at each base dedicated to weather. They have to be true experts and their decisions have far reaching consequences. They aren’t just responsible for information like is it going to rain today. We need to know things like when is a tank going to be the same temperature as the sand behind it? Is the bridge going to be colder or hotter than the river under it? The targeting pod has an infrared mode which displays a picture derived from differences in temperatures. There are certain times of the day, as the air warms or cools, when the background temperatures are the same as the target’s temp. That time is called thermal crossover. It doesn’t last very long, but during that time, the picture is washed out such that you can’t see the target in the pod. Given the humidity and dust in the air, how far away can a specific type of laser seeker see reflected laser energy? The flight profile of certain bombs changes based on when it sees a laser. You can have the bomb-diggity plan, but if the seeker can’t see the laser due to transmissivity issues, your plan will fail. Those same transmissivity issues may wash out the infrared and electrooptical pictures in the targeting pod. Needless to say, but I will, when you are making decisions about whether or not to drop a bomb, knowing if you will see the target is very important information. I’ve often joked here about my weather brief during Shelley and my morning staff meeting, but it is ingrained in me to make decisions based on the weather. These days, it’s not if I will fly air-to-air or air-to-ground, or if I am going to be able to see a target, but if we will move the chicks outside or not. All important decisions, but farmers aren’t the only ones whose daily life is dependent on the weather.


Local Farm Report for 3 April 2023:

Harvest:

35 Chicken eggs

15 Duck eggs

0 Goose eggs

5 1/4 Gallons of milk

Sales:

N/A


Cheers! Psycho & Shelley

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