The Impact Of Growing Degree Days For The Austin Texas Area

Growing Degree days are another huge part of our lives even though we may not deal with them directly. Growing degree days deal with the growing of fruits and vegetables along with other various crops that are grown throughout the United States for our personal uses. As we examine the Austin Texas area we can see how the impacts of normal, El-Nino and La-Nina cycles have an impact on just the month of March. These numbers are based on 50F which is the base number used for determining when crops will actually start to have enough heat to grow.

The 30 year average for the month of March in Austin is near 365.5 days meaning that during the month of March crops can get that much exposure to the heat needed to grow. One example is sweet corn which everyone enjoys to eat needs roughly 1800GDD to fully mature.

Taking a look at a normal cycle we see that the month of March provides the Austin area with about 508.5 GDD on average which is much better than the 30 year average. Also looking into La-Nina phase we can see that number of GDD’s expand to 512.5 which is higher than normal. While, the EL-Nino phase has its impacts with the GDD days dropping well below the 30 year average at just about 284.0GDD.

So as we can see each cycle plays a major role in the growth of our crops that we eat everyday at the kitchen table.