Researchers at the National Drought Mitigation Center and others from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have teamed up with Purdue University in a multi-institution project to learn how to make climate information useful to farmers and to the people who advise farmers. Useful to Usable (U2U): Transforming Climate Variability and Change Information for Cereal Crop Producers, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is a five-year project, from 2011 to 2016, designed to improve the resilience and profitability of U.S. farms in the Corn Belt in a changing climate. The team of 50-plus researchers includes experts in applied climatology, crop modeling, agronomy, information technology, agricultural economics and other social sciences.
Tonya Haigh, a rural sociologist at the NDMC, and Cody Knutson, leader of the NDMC’s Planning and Social Sciences program area, played key roles in designing surveys taken by almost 5,000 Corn Belt farmers and 2,080 technical advisors, and they led focus groups in Nebraska for the project. They are both co-authors of published articles based on the surveys. Read more about their efforts.
In February 2014, U2U launched two new decision support tools that incorporated what the team learned from the surveys into the design: AgClimateView and Corn Growing Degree Days. Read more.
Prokopy, L.S., T. Haigh, A.S. Mase, J. Angel, C. Hart, C. Knutson, M.C. Lemos, Y.J. Lo, J. McGuire, L.W. Morton, J. Perron, D. Todey, and M. Widhalm. 2013. Agricultural Advisors: A Receptive Audience for Weather and Climate Information? Weather, Climate, and Society. 5:162-167.
Arbuckle, J., L. Prokopy, T. Haigh, J. Hobs, T. Knoot, C. Knutson, A. Loy, A. Mase, J. McGuire, L. Morton, J. Tyndall, M. Widhalm. 2013. Climate change beliefs, concerns, and attitudes toward adaptation and mitigation among farmers in the Midwestern United States. Climatic Change Letters, 117(4):943-950.