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To the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of
Massachusells. Most of the work of the Board of Agriculture has been along the usual line of effort in past years, but new avenues of usefulness are continually opening. It has been our endeavor to keep abreast of the times, and meet these new calls as far as time and the facilities of the office will allow.
The year past has been one of average prosperity to the agricultural interests of the State.
The winter of 1889–90 was unusually mild. Bulletin No. 36 of the State Agricultural Experiment Station at Amherst states that “the mildness of the four months ending Feb. 28, 1890, was without a parallel since the beginning of the weather records at Amherst in 1836.
“ The mean temperature for each of the months mentioned was considerably above the average. No ice was cut until February, when it was from six to eight inches in thickness. The periodical snow fall was light, with the exception of the one on the 20th of February, which offered a chance for sleighing for a few days. A snow storm on the 6th of March
also gave good sleighing for a few days. The temperature for April was above the average ; the rainfall was considerably less. The last heavy frost of the season occurred April 29.”
At Amherst the highest temperature in January was 61.5°; in February, 59.5°; in March, 59.5°; in April, 77.5o. The lowest temperature in January was 4.5°; in February, 3o; in March, -9.5° ; in April, 220. Mean temperature for January was 30.51°; for February, 30.370; for March, 30.18° ; for April, 45.45o. The total precipitation for January was 2.61 inches; in February, 4.01 ; in March, 4.81; in April, 1.64 inches. The total snow fall in January was 4 inches; in February, 4.5; in March, 17 inches. The prevailing winds in January and February were north-westerly, and in March and April, north-easterly.
The Blue Hill (Milton) Observatory review of the weather for the month of March states that the month was noteworthy for the exceptionally large snow fall, which was equal in amount to all that had previously fallen since Dec. 1, 1888, notwithstanding the fact that, excepting last year, it was the warmest March in over six years. Storms were more frequent, and the variability of the temperature and rainfall greater than usual.
In Boston the month of April was not an unusual one in point of temperature, the average for the month during twenty years being 45°, the average for April, 1890, being 460. The extremes of temperature were 720 on the 24th and 26° on the 19th. There was an unusual absence of April showers, the rainfall amounting to 2 30 inches, while the average for twenty years was 3.60. After April 9 there was but one day on which more than one-tenth inch of rain fell. The total deficiency of rain in the four months ending May 1 was 4.31 inches.
The month of May was cool and wet. The average temperature was only slightly below the normal, but the nights were decidedly cool, and numerous frosts occurred. The average temperature of the month of May at Springfield for twenty-three years was 59.3°; the average for May, 1890, was 59°; departure, -0.3°. There were heavy rains on the 4th, 6th, and 26th to 28th. The amount of precipitation
was in excess. The average precipitation at Springfield for the month of May for forty-three years was 4.17 inches; for May, 1890, 5 36; a departure of + 1.19 inches.
The amount of sunshine was slightly below the normal. The prevailing direction of the wind was south-west. Frosts occurred on the 3d, 17th and 23d. Hail was general on the 28th.
The weather for June was slightly below the normal, both in temperature and precipitation. During the first half of the month it was generally cold, with little sunshine, and with precipitation above the average ; but the last half was much warmer, with more sun and little rain.
The average temperature for the month of June at Springfield for twentythree years was 68.2° ; for June, 1890, 67.6o ; departure, - 0.6o. The average temperature for the month of June at Boston for twenty-three years was 66°; average for June, 1890, 64.2°; departure, - 1.89.
The average precipitation for the month of June in Springfield for forty-three years was 3.87 inches; for June, 1890, 1.83; departure, - 2.04 inches.
The average precipitation in Boston for the month of June for twenty years was 3.29 inches; for June, 1890, 2.21 ; departure, — 1.08 inches. From the 4th to the 6th considerable rain fell. This was followed by fair weather till the 11th, when there was a marked rise in the temperature, and in some sections frequent thunder storms. The wind changed to north-east on the night of the 11th along the coast, and the temperature fell in some places about thirty degrees from noon of the 11th to noon of the 12th. It continued low till the 16th, the lowest temperature of the month occurring from the 13th to the 16th. Rain was almost continuous during that time, and in some localities in the western part of the State was the last rain of the month ; but in the southeastern part the showers were frequent, though comparatively little rain fell. High temperature occurred on the 18th, 25th and 30th, and the nights during the last two weeks of the month were much warmer than at any time of the season. The prevailing direction of the wind during the month was west.
The month of July was characterized by a severe drouth, extreme range of temperature and numerous thunder storms, accompanied sometimes by hail and high winds. The mean temperature and total precipitation were slightly below the average, while the amount of sunshine was in excess. The average temperature for the month of July at Springfield for twenty-three years was 73.3°; the average for July, 1890, was 71.8°; departure, - 1.5o.
- 1.5o. The average temperature for the month of July at Boston for twenty years was 70.90; average for July, 1890, 71°; departure, + 0.1o. The average precipitation for the month of July at Springfield for forty-three years was 4.46 inches; for July, 1890, 4.69 ; departure, + 0.23 inches. The average precipitation for the month of July at Boston for twenty years was 3.57 inches; for July, 1890, 1.93 ; departure, -- 1.64. The prevailing direction of the wind was west. One of the severest tornadoes that has ever visited New England occurred at South Lawrence on the 26th, killing scveral people, injuring many more, and doing considerable damage to property.
In August there was a slight deficiency in temperature, sunshine and precipitation, though there was no strongly marked departure from the normal in either element. High wind and hail did some damage to crops on the 10th. Heavy rains occurred on the 23d, 24th and 27th. The average temperature for the month of August in Springfield for twenty-three years was 70.4° ; average for August, 1890, 70.2°; departure, -0.2. The average temperature for the month of August in Boston for twenty years was 69°; average for August, 1890, 68.9°; departure,-0.1.
The average precipitation for the month of August at Springfield for forty-three years was 4.53 inches; for August, 1890, 5.57; departure, + 1.04.
The average precipitation for the month of August at Boston for twenty years was 4.09 inches; for August, 1890, 2.7; departure, — 1.39. The prevailing wind was west.
The average temperature for the month of September was about the normal of the month in other years, while both the sunshine and precipitation were above the normal. There were no days with an excessively high temperature, but a lower minimum was reached on the morning of the 25th, over all but the south-eastern part of the State, than is usually