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Climate Information and Agricultural Risk Management. T. A. Crane *, C. Roncoli*, N. E. Breuer+, J. O. Paz*, K. T. Ingram#, K. Broad+, G. Hoogenboom* * University of Georgia, + University of Miami, # University of Florida . A Systemic Approach to Understanding Farmers’ Decision-Making.

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climate information and agricultural risk management

Climate Information and Agricultural Risk Management

T. A. Crane*, C. Roncoli*, N. E. Breuer+, J. O. Paz*,

K. T. Ingram#, K. Broad+, G. Hoogenboom*

* University of Georgia, + University of Miami, # University of Florida

A Systemic Approach to Understanding Farmers’ Decision-Making

outline
Outline
  • Research methods and setting
  • Interactions with weather and climate information systems
  • Potential adaptive strategies
  • Challenges to forecast use
  • Farmers’ suggestions for usability
methods and research setting
Methods and Research Setting
  • Sample: 38 farmers
  • Sites: 21 counties in South Georgia
  • Methods: Semi-structured interviews
    • Weather and climate information systems
    • Climate variability and risk mgmt. strategies
    • Potential adaptations
methods and research setting4
Methods and Research Setting
  • Sample: 38 farmers
  • Sites: 21 counties in South Georgia
  • Methods: Semi-structured interviews
  • Mixed production systems
  • Avg. 2 per operation
weather climate info sources
Weather & Climate Info Sources
  • Daily use, often accessed multiple times
    • Spraying
    • Planting
    • Irrigation
  • Confidence low beyond 3-5 days
  • Wives & children are often internet users; information gateways
weather climate info sources6
Weather & Climate Info Sources
  • Passive exposure to climate forecasts
  • 90-day forecasts not used in agric. decisions
    • “Conversation piece”
    • “Peace of mind”
  • Collective credibility
adaptive management options
Adaptive Management Options
  • Cropping strategy
    • Corn or cotton ?
    • Dry land corn ?
    • Soil : crop : forecast ?
  • Forward contracts ?
  • Planting schedule
    • Dry year pine planting ?
    • Late frost risk ?
adaptive management options8
Adaptive Management Options

Forecast Use: Irwin County

Spring 2006 forecast for summer drought  widespread shift from long- to short-cycle peanut variety

non climate variables as management drivers
Non-Climate Variables as Management Drivers
  • Agronomic requirements
  • Commodity prices
  • Insurance constraints
  • Input prices
  • Credit options
  • Policy environment
    • Price supports
    • Trade policies
    • Immigration laws

Relative uncertainty of forecasts compared to non-climate variables = competition as mgmt. driver

challenges to farmers use of forecasts
Challenges to Farmers’ Use of Forecasts
  • Discrepancy in scales of forecasts & decisions
    • Temporal
    • Spatial
  • Inexperience with climate forecasts
    • Unawareness of potential
    • Skepticism of accuracy
  • Discrepancy in understandings of key concepts
    • Probability
    • Accuracy
challenges to farmers use of forecasts11
Challenges to Farmers’ Use of Forecasts
  • Difficulty in processing additional information
    • Time
    • Mental energy
  • Inflexibility of highly-capitalized operations
    • Indebtedness
    • Infrastructural investments
    • Large acreage
  • Potential for actors to leverage info over farmers
    • Lenders
    • Insurers
    • Brokers
facilitating appropriate use of climate based dss
Facilitating Appropriate Use of Climate-Based DSS
  • Create recognizable identity for DSS
    • “Show the people behind it”
    • Association with land-grant university
  • Communication
    • Use lay-users’ language
    • “Show you understand what it means to be a farmer”
    • Layer information for different users
  • Cultivate habitual reference to site
    • Regular outreach
    • Keep information updated
facilitating appropriate use of climate based dss13
Facilitating Appropriate Use of Climate-Based DSS
  • Enable users to evaluate forecasts
    • Publish forecast history
    • Publish forecast performance records
    • Explain probability upfront
  • Integrate users’ feedback into product development and assessment
questions
Questions?

www.agclimate.org

http://secc.coaps.fsu.edu/

This research was

supported by funding from

NOAA

USDA-RMA

USDA-CSREES

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