Tracking Weather for Farming Across the Sub-TropicsJuan Aldaz
Using the Cloud to Help Farmers make farming decisions
Managing your farm carries a multitude of challenges…decision making in the sensitive environments of the tropics and sub-tropics adds another layer of things to consider. Knowing your regional climate and local weather for farming can be crucial to protecting your crops and animals.
Several organizations and groups are trying to step up to these challenges with tools that can be utilized by farmers across the equatorial belt to assist with short-term seasonal decisions, long-term planning, and crop adaptation trends to increase the profitability of the agricultural industry utilizing ‘cloud’ technology accessible from the internet.
Intellicast is a recognized source of weather across the world, including month-to-month averages and departures from averages for a season, short and long term forecasts, interactive tools linked to GPS and other search tools.
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) www2.ucar.edu/
Based in Boulder, CO; this organization is dedicated to networking researchers and developing tools to assist farmers and others with not only short-term decisions, but longer term Climate Change and related challenges.
One project they are engaged with is a subscription based service which is produced by a Swedish-based company, Ignitia. The company adapted the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF), developed by NCAR, to a tropical climate. They develop open-source code, and then provide support training to other parties who can then implement the technology, and fine tune it to localized needs.
They cite an example from one farmer in Ghana:
“One day, on seeing that heavy rain was forecast, Abdul delayed plans to bring in machinery and extra workers to his corn, rice, and soybean farm in northern Ghana. “I had the money still to hire the equipment another day and not lose my investment,” he later told the forecast provider.”
.National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
From their website, NOAA states as its mission: “To understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, to share that knowledge and information with others, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources.”
With an outstanding series of sites and pages, local weather organizations utilize tools developed by NOAA and its cooperating partners.
Read more about it:
Intellicast – the Authority in Expert Weather – www.intellicast.com
Saving Farmers Money in Tropical West Africa – WRF-based rain forecasts assist growers via text messages – AtmosNews, NCAR/UCAR