See more from this Session: General Climatology & Modeling: I
Monday, October 17, 2011: 11:05 AM
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Room 007B, River Level
Climate variability plays an important role in the production risks faced by agricultural producers. The majority of crop failures are associated with either a lack or excess of rainfall. Climate variability is also associated with other sources of production risks such as pest and disease incidence. Climate information, forecasts, and long-term projections can be used to reduce risks faced by an agricultural enterprise but simply providing better climate forecasts or projections to potential users is not enough. Climate information only has value when there is a clearly defined adaptive response and a benefit once the content of the information is considered in the decision making process. AgroClimate (www.AgroClimate.org) is a response to the need for information and tools on proactive adaptations to seasonal climate variability in the southeastern USA. Extension agents, agricultural producers, forest managers, and crop consultants may use AgroClimate to aid in decision making concerning management adjustments in light of climate forecasts. Adaptations include those that might mitigate potential losses as well as those with the potential to produce optimal yields. Information available includes climate forecasts combined with risk management tools for a range of crops, forestry, and forages. AgroClimate has been successful and Extension services from other states and countries have expressed interest in implementing local versions of the system. The process of transferring our know-how and decision support system can be much more effective under an open-source environment. Based on this an open-source project has been established to facilitate the transference of tools to other institutions and agencies. Challenges and opportunities created by developing, operating, and transferring AgroClimate will be presented and discussed.