A July 1876 heat wave ripened Washington County garden crops early.
“Peas, summer squash and cucumbers are plenty,” The Granville Sentinel reported on July 21st. “The mercury climbs up every day into the nineties and drops only to seventy or eighty at night.”
Harvest conditions were not so optimistic for animal feed and cash crops.
“The hay crop is being rapidly gathered. The yield is reported light,” the Sentinel reported.
“The extreme heat and draught is prematurely ripening the oats so they are almost ready for cradle.”
A week later, the heat wave continued.
“Farmers prophesy a light crop of potatoes this fall,” the Sentinel reported on July 28th, which would drive up prices, but there would be fewer potatoes to sell.
Some hay farmers seemed to be faring better than others.
“Haying (in Fort Ann) is well under way and the crop is much heavier than our farmers anticipated, and of better quality.”
The hay crop in the northern-most Washington County town was not as promising.
“Farmers will nearly finish their haying this week. The crop is rather below an average one in quality, but owning to the favorable weather it has mostly been stored in splendid condition,” the Putnam correspondent reported in the July 28th Sentinel. “Oats are ripening fast and will soon be ready for harvesting. Spring grass of all kinds promise and abundant harvest.”
Muggy in 1883
One can only imagine the condition of the hay crop in the region in 1883.
“Hot and muggy. Oh! for a lodge on the shady side of some vast ice berg!” The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported on July 7th.
Dual woes in 1884
In 1884, the hay crop in Warren County was expected to be poor, due to a combination of late spring frost and summer drought.
“People have commenced haying. Only one third of a crop will be gathered,” The Morning Star reported on July 10th.
“Potatoes and corn are looking timely, and there is expectation of a good crop of both,” the Weavertown correspondent reported.
The weather turned cold and eventually rainy as the month progressed.
“The cold, windy weather of the past week makes it rather dull for fishermen. None but the regulars care to indulge,” the Brant Lake correspondent reported July 18th in The Morning Star. “The raspberry crop is being gathered and are selling for twelve-and-one-half cents per pound. The blueberry crop is a failure.”
Seemingly no one was pleased with the weather.
“The cold weather of the past week is anything but encouraging for farmers, hotelmen, or, in fact, for anybody else,” the Pottersville correspondent reported July 19th.
“Our weather is cold and dry, and is taking hold of the potato and corn crop. If we do not get rain soon the latter will be nothing but fodder,” the Weavertown correspondent reported on July 23rd.
The rain did come.
“A very refreshing and much needed shower was enjoyed here yesterday,” the French Mountain correspondent reported on July 25th.
Mixed bag in 1885
Rain was more frequent in July 1885. “The rain of Saturday and Sunday was much needed and revived vegetation, laid the dust, and was satisfactory to everyone,” the Luzerne correspondent reported July 3rd in The Morning Star.
On July 11th, The Morning Star predicted a generally poor agricultural season, based on a conversion between a reporter and a Glens Falls resident who had taken a leisurely drive though rural sections of Warren County.
“Corn is thus far a failure due to the lack of hot weather. It is stunted and thin and can hardly be redeemed even by a heated period. The rye crop will be short, in some places not more than half the average yield. This is due to the fact that a considerable portion of it was winter-killed. Wheat is looking finely and will yield a large crop. Potatoes and root crops in general are doing well, considering the backward season, and will be plentiful and cheap in the fall. Grass is rich and luxurious and will be an average crop.”
The weather had turned “hot and muggy,” The Morning Star reported on July 17th.
“Blueberries are said to be abundant on the mountains and are being brought in and sold in considerable quantities,” the Luzerne correspondent reported.
“Several of our farmers have commenced haying. The hay crop has improved very much during the last few weeks,” the Chestertown correspondent reported.
The month ended with consistent rain.
“We have rain nearly every day, and vegetation is springing forward rapidly,” the Horicon correspondent reported on July 31st. ”Our farmers are busy with haying, but the showers, which are of daily occurrence, make it difficult to harvest the hay in good order.”
July 1886 weather in Warren and Washington counties varied.
“The cool air of this week is marked contrast to the excessive heat of last week,” the Greenwich correspondent reported in The Granville Sentinel on July 16th.
“The rain was very acceptable, also the change from hot to cold,” the Fort Edward correspondent reported.
“The recent rains have done great good to the different crops,” the Hartford correspondent reported on July 23rd.
“This is unusually poor hay weather, in consequence of the frequent rains,” the Weavertown correspondent reported on July 23rd in The Morning Star.
There was at least one eternal optimist in region.
“An old farmer stated the other day that there would be more hay cut in the town of Chester this year than every before,” The Morning Star reported on July 30th.