Submitted to: Agricultural Research International Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/14/2001
Publication Date: 11/6/2001
Citation: Garbrecht, J.D., Schneider, J.M., Zhang, X.J., Steiner, J.L., Mayeux, H.S. 2001. Linking long range precipitation variations and forecasts to water availability and agricultural productivity. In: Proceedings of INIFAP-ARS Joint Meeting: A Framework for Cooperation, Weslaco, TX and Rio Bravo, Mexico. p. 63-67. Interpretive Summary: This presentation paper provides an overview of research conducted at the USDA, ARS Grazinglands Research Laboratory (GRL), El Reno, OK, on the application of long range climate and weather prediction for agricultural production management and resources conservation. This research is needed because climate is a dominant input into the agricultural production system mand new technologies are available in the form of seasonal climate forecasts that can help make proactive management and production decisions. The characteristics of seasonal climate forecasts that are issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are described. Specific characteristics include the large size of the region for which each forecast is issued, the three-month duration of the forecasts, and the statistical nature of the forecast parameters. Research is conducted to measure the uncertainty of the forecasts in terms of dependability, effectiveness and usefulness. In addition research is conducted to adapt the seasonal climate forecasts for application at field and daily and monthly time steps that are relevant to agricultural production. Research also addresses ten-year long variation in annual precipitation. An increasing precipitation variation has been shown to significantly increase streamflow from watersheds. Part of the increase is retained in the soil and is available for plant productivity. Research is conducted to identify the daily and seasonal weather characteristics associated with the ten-year long variations in annual precipitation and how it might affect production potential and conservation.
Technical Abstract: A team of scientists at the USDA, ARS, Grazinglands Research Laboratory (GRL), El Reno, OK, is conducting research to link decade-long climate variations and climate forecasts to water availability and agricultural productivity, and to develop risk-based decision tools for production management and resource conservation. It is anticipated that the tools produced by this research will provide the agricultural community with new capabilities to: (1) optimize agricultural production efficiency under forecasted seasonal and interannual climate variations; (2) increase economic benefits for producers and consumers alike; (3) proactively mitigate negative impacts of climate variations on agricultural production; and, (4) contribute comprehensive solutions to existing agricultural problems such as variations in seasonal product quantity and quality, soil erosion, and pressures on water resources and water quality. This presentation paper of the research is intended to serve as background material for discussions on potential cooperative research opportunities among the participants at the INIFAP-ARS joint meeting in Weslaco, Texas, and Rio Bravo, Mexico, on November 6 and 7, 2001.