Articles

MOLDING THE PIPELINE INTO A LOOP: THE PARTICIPATORY PROCESS OF DEVELOPING AGROCLIMATE, A DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR CLIMATE RISK REDUCTION IN AGRICULTURE

by: Norman E. Breuer, Clyde W. Fraisse, Peter E. Hildebrand

Volume 2009, No. 5, 7 October 2009

We used a participatory approach for research, development, and dissemination of AgroClimate, a decision support system for climate risk reduction in agriculture. Feedback from stakeholders and dissemination of climate forecast technology were simultaneous outputs from interactions with potential end users. We describe the research and development process, including the use of Sondeos (a semi-structured, multidisciplinary team discussion process), focus groups, semi-structured interviews, web-surveys, on-line feedback and participation at farmer association meetings. Quality and quantity of feedback, cost, number of activities, and numbers of stakeholders reached were scaled for analysis. Radar diagrams were used to characterize the several research participatory methodologies used. Results showed that all methods were useful. The greatest quantity of feedback was obtained through Sondeos, interviews, and a web survey. The greatest quality of feedback came from the web survey, workshops, interviews and Sondeos. Dissemination of climate forecast technology and applications available on AgroClimate were greatest at farmer association meetings and lowest at workshops. All methods mentioned are appropriate loci for two-way translational science to occur. While disseminating climate information, feedback and new ideas from potential end users are obtained. Thus AgroClimate and many of the tools within it may be thought of as having been co-developed by scientists and stakeholders.

 

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Alan R. Bender 1944-2008

by: Dennis Todey

Volume 2009, No. 4, 4 June 2009

Alan R. Bender, 63, of Volga, S.D., died suddenly in Brookings on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008. In 1979 he became an engineer and assistant professor of agricultural engineering at SDSU and the following year he completed his master’s degree in agricultural engineering. In 1984 he was named acting director of the SDSU Water Resource Institute, a position he held until 1991. The previous year, he had been named an assistant professor and agricultural engineer in Extension and acting water quality coordinator. From 1991 to 2001 he was South Dakota’s state climatologist. His contributed significantly to the disciplinary knowledge base and helped pioneer many new processes through each of these positions; his professional achievements are too numerous to
list.

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Integrating the Natural Climate Regime into Management Plans for Swine Wastewater Lagoons

by: Charles L. Wax, Jonathan W. Pote, Michael E. Brown

Volume 2009, No. 3, 1 Jun 2009

Disposal of wastewater from large-scale swine production facilities in the southern region of the U.S. is increasingly problematic as production facilities increase and regulations governing disposal become more restrictive. No-discharge systems are attractive or even mandatory for many producers. In such systems, wastewater is pumped from a storage lagoon when a certain level of storage is reached, and proper disposal depends on evaporation, infiltration into the soil,  and on a crop's ability to utilize some nutrient such  as nitrogen or phosphorus at that time. Under the control of climate in the region, lagoon levels rise during periods of precipitation while the soil becomes wet and the net water requirement of plants decreases, precluding irrigation.  Wastewater volume is therefore typically high du ring winter and spring when pumping would be ecologically damaging, and low during summer and fall when conditions are more often suitable for successful land application. Consequently, at the moment of greatest need this type of disposal system is not operational, and spills or illegal discharges may occur. This study uses daily computer simulation over a 45-year period to test how well five management strategies could remedy this offset distribution of wastewater supply and demand.  Pumping once each year on planned dates of the 15th of June, July, August, and September do successfully shift the time of necessary pumping out of the winter and spring and into the growing season. An annual September 15 th pumping of lagoons is recommended as the most efficient management plan for avoiding illegal overflows and emergency pumping at times when land application will not be successful.   

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Daily Climate Data Quality Control Procedures of the Iowa State Climatologist

by: Harry Hillaker, Karen Andsager

Volume 2009, No. 2, 1 Jun 2009

The State Climatologist Office of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has been performing data entry and data quality  control of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration daily climate data in Iowa since  July 1, 1987. This process uses comprehensive, automated quality control tests based on standard instrumentation and observing practices and on standard climatological consistency. Inconsistencies flagged by these tests are manually resolved using a standard procedure based on information available from other sources and surrounding stations. The process then uses a manual spatial test to flag additional suspect values, which are also manually resolved using a standard procedure based on information available from other sources and surrounding stations. For example, for suspect values spotted in snowfall and snow depth spatial plots, visible satellite imagery may be consulted along with snowfall at neighboring stations to produce reasonable snowfall and snow depth estimates. This manually intensive process has produced a unique resource for comparison of manual quality control with automated processes, as well as analysis of Iowa climate.   

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NWS Frost Depth Observation with Liquid-In Probes Performance: Two-Year Review

by: F. Adnan Akyuz, Mark Ewens, Radu Carcoana, Barbara Mullins

Volume 2009, No.1, 1 Jun 2009

Performance of the liquid-in frost depth probe made in-house by the Grand Forks National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Office (W FO) is compared against soil temperature observations made by North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) at the Fargo location for a two-year period from 2006-2007 to 2007-2008 winter seasons. While the liquid-in frost depth probe provided continuous frost depth observations, NDAWN soil temperature observations had to be interpolated between measurement points to determine the depth where the soil temperature was 0 °C (32 °F). In general, the trends of both observations matched almost identically; however, the magnitude of the depths varied with liquid-in frost depth probe consistently showing deeper frost depths than the NDAWN soil temperature observations.

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