App taps historical climate data for Texas growers
- By Susan Miller
- Jul 14, 2017
The Department of Agriculture has developed an app that accesses historical information about the climate so as farmers, certified crop advisers and extension agents can better plan for the current year.
"On a year-to-year basis, farming can be kind of a seat-of-the-pants affair," Steven Mauget of the Agricultural Research Service told the American Society of Agronomy. "The general idea was that by comparing the development of this year's conditions with those of the past decade, producers might be able to get a better intuitive feel for how the current year might play out weather-wise and yield-wise."
With that insight producers can monitor planting conditions, track crop development and estimate a growing season’s typical duration. By displaying seasonal climate variability during the previous 10 years, it also provides estimates of the range of an upcoming season’s climate outcomes based on persistence, according to ARS.
"I think this work shows a way that mesonet data can be used as an applied climate resource," Mauget said. "As water becomes less abundant in Texas aquifers, farmers are becoming more dependent on rainfall so it's important for them to have more knowledge about their growing environment."
More information on the Agro-Climate Monitor is available here.
Susan Miller is executive editor at GCN.
Over a career spent in tech media, Miller has worked in editorial, print production and online, starting on the copy desk at IDG’s ComputerWorld, moving to print production for Federal Computer Week and later helping launch websites and email newsletter delivery for FCW. After a turn at Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, where she worked to promote technology-based economic development, she rejoined what was to become 1105 Media in 2004, eventually managing content and production for all the company's government-focused websites. Miller shifted back to editorial in 2012, when she began working with GCN.
Miller has a BA and MA from West Chester University and did Ph.D. work in English at the University of Delaware.
Connect with Susan at [email protected] or @sjaymiller.