Whether we’re talking about wildlife, woodlands, agriculture, or our own personal garden, concerns about weather and climate conditions tend to enter the conversation frequently. But unless you have ample time on your hands to explore the seemingly endless number of weather data sites out there, tracking down simple, usable weather and climate information can be frustrating. The Useful to Usable (U2U) project is looking to change that by making existing information more accessible for decision makers and the public.
The U2U team, led by Dr. Linda Prokopy Associate Professor in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, recently launched two new products that provide easy access to climate and crop records. Although these tools were developed with the agricultural community in mind, these dynamic products are relevant for anyone interested in historical and current climate conditions. And best of all, they’re free!
AgClimate View provides convenient access to customized historical climate and crop yield data for the U.S. Corn Belt. Users can view and download graphs of monthly temperature and precipitation, plot corn and soybean yield trends, and compare climate and yields over the past 30 years. AgClimate View provides insights on possible rainfall and temperature variability throughout the year, and it lets you compare current conditions to the historical average. U2U partner Tapan Pathak, Extension Educator at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, did an excellent overview of how to use AgClimate View in a recent issue of Nebraska CropWatch.
The Corn Growing Degree Days (GDD) tool allows users to track real-time and historical GDD accumulations, assess spring and fall frost risk, and guide decisions related to planting, harvest, and seed selection. This innovative tool integrates corn development stages with weather and climate data for location-specific decision support tailored specifically to agricultural production. Marilyn Thelen, Extension Educator at Michigan State University, wrote a recent piece detailing how Michigan farmers might use the Corn GDD tool in real-time to manage planting delays brought on by the unseasonably cool weather. Read the full story on AgriClimate Connection.
For more information about the U2U project and decision support tools, please visit our website at www.AgClimate4U.org. You can also stay connected by signing up for the U2U Newsletter and following us on Twitter-U2U (@AgClimate4U).
Useful to Usable
Transforming Climate Variability and
Change Information for Cereal Crop Producers