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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATION OF CLIMATE VARIABILITY AND FORECASTS INTO RISK-BASED MANAGEMENT TOOLS FOR AGRICULTURE PRODUCTION AND RESOURCE CONSERVATION

Location: Great Plains Agroclimate and Natural Resources Research Unit

Project Number: 6218-11130-004-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Nov 24, 2009
End Date: Mar 10, 2012

Objective:
The objectives are to: (a) evaluate the utility of climate variations and forecasts for agriculture and resources conservation applications; (b) develop risk-based decision tools that take into consideration climate variations and forecasts for practical decision applications in agriculture and natural resource management; and (c) demonstrate climate-related decision and application opportunities for a livestock grazing enterprise and a reservoir water-level managment plan. The guiding principle underlying this project is the bridging of the gap between emerging climate knowledge and application of climate information to problem-solving by developing decision tools for real-life applications that meet the requirements of producers and resource managers.

Approach:
Decadl-scale climate variations are identified by a trend analysis of historical climate data published by NOAA's national Climate Data Center, and the utility of seasonal climate forecasts by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center are evaluated in terms of forecasted and observed departure from average conditions. Statistical characteristics of climate variations and forecasts are quantified in terms of basic districution statistics and probability of exceedance cures (POE). Associated weather outcomes are developed using a weather generator, which will drive selected crop and hydrologic models that simulate climatic impacts on forage production and natural resources. Collaborating producers will capture their decision process using a journaling approach which will identify critical decision variables for which POE curves will be developed. The POE curves will reflect the risk and uncertainty of forecasted impacts and represent the basic decision information for decision makers. Two case studies, the management of a fall forage-grazing system in central Oklahoma and water-level regulation for Lake Texoma reservoir, will be used to demonstrate the management protential offered by climate variations and forecasts.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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