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New Tools Help Farmers In North Central Region Adapt To Variable Weather, Climate Conditions

Two new online tools to help farmers and agricultural advisors adapt to increasingly variable weather and climate conditions were launched recently by the Useful to Usable (U2U) climate initiative.
AgClimate ViewDST  and Corn Growing Degree DayDST provide easy-to-use historical climate data that can help inform purchasing, marketing and activity planning throughout the growing cycle. A University of Wisconsin-Extension team based in the Environmental Resources Center (ERC) is evaluating and promoting the tools.
“We are excited to be part of such a dynamic team of researchers and Extension specialists and are honored to provide evaluation and marketing support for an important topic like climate adaptation,” says Jenna Klink, lead evaluator on the project. “Our efforts will help the team fine-tune the tools and ensure they resonate with target audiences, which we expect will lead to more farmers, and those who advise farmers, using the tools for management decisions. Making climate-adaptive decisions could lead to increased yields and profitability and reduced business risks.”
The ERC team has coordinated two tool usability sessions with farm advisors and two rounds of interviews with project team members from across the 12-state North Central Region. Additional efforts to evaluate outreach strategies and engagement are currently underway. A multi-faceted marketing campaign is scheduled for this summer.
The decision tools are designed for agricultural advisors and producers in the North Central region of the Unites States, as well as Kentucky and Tennessee. The entire U2UDST Suite can be accessed via U2U’s web portal.
AgClimate ViewDSTprovides convenient access to customized historical climate and crop yield data for the U.S. Corn Belt. Users can view graphs of monthly temperature and precipitation, plot corn and soybean yield trends, and compare climate and yields over the past 30 years.
Corn Growing Degree DayDST allows users to track real-time and historical Growing Degree Day accumulations, assess spring and fall frost risk, and guide decisions related to planting, harvest, and seed selection. The tool integrates corn development stages with weather and climate data for location-specific decision support tailored specifically to agricultural production.
Useful to Usable is a USDA-funded research and extension project designed to improve the resilience and profitability of U.S. farms in the Corn Belt amid a variable and changing climate. The project is comprised of a team of 50 faculty, staff, and students from nine North Central universities with expertise in applied climatology, crop modeling, agronomy, cyber-technology, agricultural economics, and other social sciences. Learn more at

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