Useful to Usable (U2U): Transforming Climate Variability and Change Information for Cereal Crop Producers

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Information about Useful to Usable (U2U): Transforming Climate Variability and Change...

Published on December 22, 2016



1. 1 Melissa Widhalm U2U Project Manager, Purdue University USDA Agroclimatology PD Meeting – December 16-18, 2016 Useful to Usable: Transforming Climate Variability and Change Information for Cereal Crop Producers

2. About U2U • Transform existing climate information into usable knowledge for agricultural decision making • Give farmers the resources and training to more effectively manage variable climate conditions • Increase Extension capacity to address agro-climate issues Our Vision More resilient and profitable farms in a variable and changing climate

3. U2U Team climatologists, crop modelers, agronomists, IT specialists, economists, sociologists, Extension, and more

4. Pilot test tools, methods, and outreach Project Objectives Models and Data Stakeholder Input Decision Support Tools IA IN NE MI Disseminate across 12 state region

5. We strive to transform useful information into usable tools that actually get used! Stakeholder interaction, from the beginning and throughout the entire process, is essential! Regular evaluation of our tools, and our team, to ensure we are meeting needs. Photo credit:

6. 5 D e c i s i o n S u p p o r t T o o l s 50Peer- Reviewed P u b l i c a t i o n s By Th e Nu mb ers TEN Students G r a d u a t e d 1 4 5 Scientific Conference Presentations 150+ Outreach Events Web Users 37,000+ 2011 – 2017 Proje c t Pe riod 2015 College of Ag TEAM Award 2015 USDA-NIFA Partnership AwardTrade & Popular Press 150 Articles

7. Stakeholder Interactions for DST Development • Surveys • Focus groups • Interviews • User testing • Hands-on training

8. Climate Needs Assessment Surveys Data collect Feb-March 2012 n = 2,530 n = 4,778 Questions: • Use of weather/climate information • Risk management strategies • Timing of on-farm decisions • Climate change concerns and beliefs • Influential information sources

9. Ag community is concerned about climate-related impacts 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Longer droughts Increased soil erosion Increased weeds Increased heat stress Increased nutrient loss More frequent extreme rains Increased insects More crop disease More saturated soils Increased flooding Percent Producers Advisors Showing % concerned or very concerned

10. Farmers climate concerns vary across region: More frequent extreme rain events (percent concerned or very concerned)

11. Historical and future climate info is underutilized 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Historical weather trends Weather data for the past 12 months Current weather conditions 1-7 day forecasts 8-14 day outlooks Monthly or seasonal outlooks Annual or longer term outlooks Percent Producers Advisors Showing % who reported a “moderate” or “strong” influence on decisions/advice Prokopy et al. 2013. “Agricultural Advisors: A Receptive Audience for Weather and Climate Information?” Weather, Climate, and Society, 5:162-167

12. Haigh et al. 2015. “Mapping the Decision Points and Climate Information use of Agricultural Producers across the U.S. Corn Belt.” Climate Risk Management When can climate information influence a decision making process? • Survey data revealed when different decisions made across the region. • These can be “entry points” for climate information. • Some decisions made in advance (e.g. seed purchase); some more tactical (e.g. cover crops) S/O/NJ/J/AM/A/MD/J/F

13. Q: Please indicate how influential the following groups and individuals are when you make decisions about agricultural practices and strategies Results from a 2012 survey of Midwestern corn producers conducted by Useful to Usable (U2U) and 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Strong Influence Moderate Influence Slight Influence No Influence No contact Prokopy et al. 2014. “Adoption of Agricultural Conservation Practices: Insights from Research and Practice” Purdue Extension Publication FNR-488-W.

14. Who do non-Extension ag advisors trust for climate information? Distrust Trust Prokopy, L.S., et al.. 2015. “Extension's Role in Disseminating Information about Climate Change to Agricultural Stakeholders in the United States.” Climatic Change.

15. Climate change is occurring 66% 75%  Humans are at least partly responsible 41% 50% Most farmers and advisors believe climate change is happening, but opinions differ on the role of human activity Farmers Advisors Climate change beliefs significantly influence perceived climate risks, willingness to use climate info, risk management, adaptation/mitigation beliefs and trusted info sources. Arbuckle et al. 2013. “Corn Belt Farmers and Climate Change: Beliefs, Perceived Risk, and Support for Action.” Climatic Change Letters,117(4): 943-950. Prokopy et al. 2015. “Agricultural stakeholder views on climate change: Implications for conducting research and outreach.” BAMS 96(2): 181-190.

16. Percent Agree or Strongly Agree Question: It is important for farmers to adapt to climate change to ensure the long-term success of U.S. agriculture

17. Survey Take Away Messages • High concern for climate impacts, but climate information is underutilized in ag – Think critically about where climate information could be beneficial in decision making • Reconsider the messenger… – Farmers are greatly influenced by advisors, and advisors trust scientists and Extension for climate info. Leverage this trust! • …And the message! – Need to recognize and respond to differences in climate change beliefs in our tools, training, and communication

18. This tool provides easy-to-use historical climate and crop yield data for the Corn Belt AgClimateViewDST Track real-time accumulations and learn about climate risks for corn development. CornGDDDST Connect global climate conditions to local climate impacts. ClimatePatternsViewerDST Determine the feasibility and profitability of using post- planting nitrogen application for corn production. CornSplitNDST Explore the profitability of investing in irrigation equipment within the Corn Belt. IrrigationInvestmentDST

19. Thank you! Follow Us on Twitter! @AgClimate4U Melissa Widhalm U2U Project Manager 765-494-8191

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