Farmers' Almanac

Farmers' Almanac

: "This article is about the "Farmers' Almanac"; for a similarly titled publication, see "Old Farmer's Almanac"."

"Farmers' Almanac" is an annual North American periodical that has been in continuous publication since 1818. Published by the Almanac Publishing Company, of Lewiston, Maine, it is famous for its long-range weather predictions and astronomical data, as well as its trademark blend of humor, trivia, and advice on gardening, cooking, fishing, and human-interest crusades. Conservation, sustainable living, and simplicity are core values of the publication and its editors, and these themes are heavily promoted in every edition.

In addition to the popular American version, the Almanac Publishing Company also publishes the "Canadian Farmers' Almanac" and a promotional version that businesses can personalize and distribute to customers. The total annual distribution of all "Farmers' Almanac" editions is more than 4 million copies.


The "Farmers’ Almanac" was founded in Morristown, New Jersey, in 1818 by editor David Young and publisher Jacob Mann. Astronomer Samuel Hart Wright succeeded Young in 1851. Over the years, the "Farmers’ Almanac" has had seven editors.

Ray Geiger served as the "Farmers’ Almanac's" longest-running editor, from 1934 until shortly before his death in 1994. In 1955, Geiger moved production of the "Farmers' Almanac" from Newark, New Jersey, to its current headquarters in Lewiston, Maine. Today, his son, Peter Geiger, Philom., continues the legacy, along with Managing Editor Sandi Duncan, Philom. Duncan is the first female almanac editor in United States history.

Weather prediction

Weather prediction has always been a major feature of the "Farmers’ Almanac". The Almanac Publishing Company claims readers of the "Farmers’ Almanac" have attributed an 80 to 85 percent accuracy rate to the publication’s annual forecasts. Scientific studies of these claims have shown them to be false. On average the Almanac's predictions are no better than chance. [cite paper |author=Nick Bond |title=The back of the front: keeping the Almanac honest.|publisher=Weatherwise |date=2004 |url= |accessdate=2008-04-10 ] [cite web|url=|title=Verification of 2005 Old Farmer's Almanac: National and California|accessdate=2008-04-10]

Predictions for each edition are made as far as two years in advance. The "Farmers’ Almanac" publishers are highly secretive about the method used to make its predictions, only stating publicly that it is a “top secret mathematical and astronomical formula, that relies on sunspot activity, tidal action, planetary position and many other factors.” The identity of the "Farmers’ Almanac" weather forecaster is also a secret. The Almanac’s forecaster is referred to by the pseudonym “Caleb Weatherbee.”

The U.S. retail edition of the "Farmers’ Almanac" contains 16 months of weather predictions for seven differentiated U.S. climatic zones, beginning in September of the publication year (always the year prior to the edition year – for instance, the 2007 edition was released in September 2006) and extending until December of the following year.

The seven zones are: (Zone 1) Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia; (Zone 2) Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky; (Zone 3) North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida; (Zone 4) Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado; Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, and New Mexico; (Zone 6) Idaho, Washington, and Oregon; (Zone 7) Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California.

The U.S. edition of the "Farmers' Almanac" does not include forecasts for Alaska or Hawaii.

Notable articles

Most editions of the "Farmer’s Almanac" include a “human interest crusade,” advocating for a change in some accepted social practice or custom. Previous crusades have included: “How Much Daylight Are We Really Saving,” a recommendation for a revised Daylight Saving Time schedule (2007); “Why is Good Service So Hard to Schedule,” recommending that service providers offer more specific timeframes when scheduling home visits (2006); “A Kinder, Gentler Nation,” urging readers to exercise more common courtesy (2003); “Saturday: The Trick to Making Halloween a Real Treat,” advocating that the observance of Halloween be moved to the last Saturday in October (1999); “A Cure for Doctors’ Office Delays,” demanding more prompt medical service and calling for a “Patients’ Bill of Rights” (1996); and “Pennies Make No Sense,” which sought to eliminate the penny, and to permanently replace the dollar bill with less costly-to-produce dollar coins (1989).

Other pieces that have attracted a great deal of attention over the years included a campaign in 2001 to name an official National Dessert (readers resoundingly responded in favor of traditional apple pie), and a 2002 article that named the “10 Best and Worst Weather Cities in the USA.”

"Farmers’ Almanac TV"

In 2003, the "Farmers’ Almanac" partnered with Buy the Farm LLC, a Savannah, Georgia-based production company, to create "Farmers' Almanac TV." The show – which features segments in over a dozen lifestyle categories, including home and garden, sustainable living, cooking, natural cures, and weather – debuted on public television in the spring of 2006, bringing to life stories of grassroots living in both rural and urban America.


Over the course of its long publication history, the "Farmers’ Almanac" has acquired the status of a “household name.” As a result, it receives an enormous amount of national publicity. Editors Peter Geiger and Sandi Duncan grant hundreds of interviews to television, print and online media each year.

The "Farmers' Almanac" has also been referenced in numerous television shows and movies, including: "The Office", "MASH", "The Dukes of Hazard", "Cold Case", and "Father of the Bride".

See also

* Farmers' Almanac TV
* Old Farmer's Almanac
* Sumerian Farmer's Almanac

External links

* [ Farmers' Almanac Since 1818]
* [ Geiger Bros.]
* [ Farmers' Almanac TV]


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