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Allen Family Farms Smithshire Illinois USA


Rainy day (I'm bored)
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It's a rainy day, crops in, cows long gone as is almost all the decades old web customers either retired, dead or moving on...

SO why not code?

After all the weather station is long repaired, monthly summery tables are conveniently shared (stolen, borrowed for free) by Weather Underground (and not on an ancient dying pc drive) ... call it a win. So...

First we need to drag out the old 2012 Excel database and modify a few entries to swallow the new text based table (which we get off of WU with a select, control-c to copy and control-p paste into a quadrant of Excel)

For the math on GDU: North Dakota Ag Weather Network is as simple to understand as any

NOW the fun part. Weather Undergound adds " °F" so we are going to have to get the length of the temperatures (I assume we will see +100 days so gotta mess with that unknown) & as rain ends in " in" inches ... well actually the same excel string to data conversion formula will work (just the cells we inspect change)


Where M4 is the column and row we are in (April 1 in this case). And to be a bit anal regressive I want a "0" in days yet to come (just hate to see an "ERR" in a future column merely waiting for that day to arrive)

OK now the pain in the ass, so I want to put this in an SQL database (why not! For 20 years I have been inventing elevator price charting, keeping as you go harvest records, posting interest rate updates, maintaining herd livestock records locally and more crazy to self designed SQL PHP CGI driven crap. Why slum it now!)

So that plain Jane 4/1 is pretty much non compatible AND it MUST be YYYY:MM:DD so simple math (gotta pad days and months only 1 digit long) not going to fly:


Where again the L column is where I begin pasting the Weather Underground data

NOW the nightmare begins. You are going to have to copy and paste the 4 columns of Excel results into notepad (to get values not formulas) then select and paste notepad content into a blank Excel to get to a point you can save it as a "comma delimited" separated values (.CSV)

"Got Values" ... BUT WAIT, we don't have an SQL table to import them into

(no problem, hackers go away, not going to explain that.)

BUT those who are not lost yet, sure simply go into your web panel and create the SQL database, user & password...

then the 1 table to go with

`DATE` date NOT NULL DEFAULT '0000-00-00',
`HI` decimal(4,1) DEFAULT NULL,
`LO` decimal(4,1) DEFAULT NULL,
`RAIN` decimal(5,2) DEFAULT NULL

If you are totally newbie think of it as a drive (your site) with a folder (database) containing one file (table). Horribly over simplified but same as a Website is Vanity Plates (domain name) on a Vehicle (host) driven by you or someone like me (web designer) who both increasingly have to be the security at the door (no fun at all, trust me, unpaid slave labor keeping people all too safe who have no clue the threats ... I digress)

NOW it is simply a matter of importing the Excel based GDU.CSV file (created earlier) or manually entering information periodically. Of course that is much more complicated PHP admin page creation (like used to add harvest tickets, daily grain bids, periodic bank rate increases, add records to an angus sale listing ... not for the faint of heart but for now at least a way to add clips of weekly hi/low/rain a manual way. Part III if you will.

The math will be HI no greater then 86° and low no lower then 50°. Average, Divide by 2 and subtract 50. Any HI/LO below 50° is just a 0 GDU day. In Excel (for line 4) if your HI is in column B and LO in column C then formula would be:


Part II is some way to pull raw data now stored and draw pretty charts. In Perl (pulling from an SQL database) one simple method is:

$gdh = $Row->{HI};
if($gdh > 86){ $gdh=86 };
if($gdh < 50){ $gdh=50 };
$gdl = $Row->{LO};
if($gdl < 50){ $gdl=50 };
$gdd = (($gdh + $gdl)/2)-50;
$gdd = sprintf("%.1f", $gdd);

yes I am assuming no overnight lows higher then 86°

In the interim we just use Windows Snippet and upload screen shots time to time so we can enjoy semi-retirement as in we never will think we are rich enough to fully retire. WORK keeps us from spending money foolishly after all ! ?

(Coming maybe if it keeps raining)






Preston & Glenda Allen

PHONE: 309-221-1427
Smithshire IL 61478