Science & Medicine
9:26 am
Mon February 4, 2013

"Useful to Useable" effort making progress

Researchers at Purdue and nine other universities are seeing progress in their effort to help farmers deal with changes to climate.

The first phase of developing models for different scenarios and surveying farmers and those who provide them services is complete. The team is now trying to figure out the best way to convey the information to producers.

Dr. Linda Prokopy, associate professor in Purdue’s Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, is involved with the program and heading up the effort on the West Lafayette campus.

“We’re taking what we know about what farmers and their advisors currently use and would like to use, and bringing that together and started to create decision-support tools,” she says. “We’re doing that in conjunction with farmers and advisors, so we’re having a series of focus groups, both in Indiana and Nebraska, to get feedback as we develop these tools.”

The surveys showed there is interest in having tools available to help deal with changes to climate, and that was the sentiment before last summer’s drought. Prokopy thinks that demand will be even higher now.

“Even before the drought there was a lot of interest in using weather and climate information in decision-making, but what we heard repeatedly was that people don’t know where to go to get information.”

The five year research effort began in mid-2011 with funding from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture within the USDA. More information about it is HERE.