Climate Info Site for Agriculture
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched a website dedicated to collecting in one place science-based, region-specific information on coping with climate change for farmers, ranchers, and land and forest managers. California has its own section on the Southwest portion of the national Climate Hub, with emphases on speciality crops, forestlands, field crops, and livestock, though information is scarce in certain areas, such as current drought effects, for which the Hub is requesting information from users. The fledgling site links to reports on adapting to expected changes in weather patterns and such “tools” as a greenhouse gas emission estimator and a “manure and nutrient reduction estimator” to name just a couple of the dozens available.
The Southwest Hub, based in Las Cruces, NM, offers its water supply forecasts in the upper Rio Grande watershed as an example of a success in helping farmers decide crop selection, planting time, and irrigation schedules from 2006-2012. Contact information is plentiful and possibly necessary to locate relevant information in the extensive website, which covers fire risk, pests and diseases, heat stress, and drought.