What would the return of El Niño mean for Midwestern farmers?

Check out Jim Angel’s article regarding predictions of the possible return of El Niño this summer and what it could mean for the Midwest, on his blog at The Climate Observer.

Want to know more about climate patterns like this? U2U is in the final stages of developing a farmer-decision tool called Climate Patterns Viewer. It will provide a series of simple maps showing the impact of global climate patterns like El Niño on Midwestern temperature, precipitation and corn yields. They expect to release it this summer. If you are interested in testing this tool please contact Melissa Widhalm at mwidhalm at purdue dot edu.

Web-based Corn Growing Degree Day Tool helps with planting decisions

Another cool wet spring in Michigan leaves farmers waiting for good conditions to plant crops.  Variable weather in the spring always dictates planting schedules.  This year is no different.  Recently a web-based decision tools was developed that allows farmers to compare current conditions to a 30-year historical perspective.  Using historical climatology based data, the tool offers trend projections through the end of the growing season.

The U2U Decision Support Tool for Corn Growing Degree Days (GDD) allows the producer to select their geographic area; the start date for GDD, this could be the date corn is planted or emerges; the year the grower would like to compare to; corn maturity days; and the temperature for killing frost (28F).  u2u_tools Continue reading

Is there an advantage to early soybean planting?

Selecting an early versus late planting date could have implications for water availability and plant stress throughout the growing season. U2U team members Tapan Pathak and Roger Elmore at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln looked at the potential advantage of early soybean planting from a climatology perspective. Read all about their findings in Nebraska Crop Watch.