Some days I feel like 99.9% of farm life is “solving for x”.

How many bales of hay do I need to make it until spring? Well if a sheep eats 2lbs per day and you have 21 sheep and a bale weighs 1500 pounds, then solve for x…

How long can I go between dragging the hose out for stock tank fills? Well if the horses drink 10 gallons per horse per day and the tank holds 300 gallons, then solve for x…

When will I need barn cat food next? Well if the barn cats each eat .25 lbs per day and the turkeys steal .5lbs per day and the Pyrenees steal 2 lbs every other day when I forget to lock the feed room door, then solve for x…

And so on.

Farm life is essentially one endless story problem. If I could go back to my school age, math-hating/fearing self and explain that algebra and the problem solving abilities you get from it are probably the single most useful thing you will take away from the 12 years of public school, I could save myself a lot of angst and probably have applied myself far more than I did.

And right now I SO wish I did.

What started as a “I wonder if” set of “does x + 84 days = y” bit of math for the fun of seeing if my much beloved Fog Calendar folklore might be true has turned into a full blown major data science project and I’m so out of my league…if I only I had known what important X’s I might one day need to solve for!

Long story short, my simpleton math and Excel data crunching is showing some AMAZING correlations when it comes to matching fog dates with future precipitation. Like stuff that is way way more than chance…and if I can solve a few “x” questions, we are talking 90-100% accuracy over huge swaths of data and date ranges.

But to sample a larger set of data, I need more Excel know-how. So if anyone out there is a data crunching guru and wants to play “citizen scientist” with me, send me a PM. Seriously-I need someone smarter than me to figure out how to more quickly crunch the large data sets I have access to!

Who knows, maybe we can win whatever the meteorological equivalent of the Nobel Prize is together? 🥳

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