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Climate and Weather: Specialty Crop Growers' Views and Priorities to Manage Uncertainty in Production Systems

The research below - North Central Fruit, Vegetable and Wine Growers’ Assessment of Soil and Water Vulnerability Under Changing Climate Conditions and Extreme Weather Events - has been funded by USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Midwest Climate Hub and conducted by researchers at the Iowa State University.

Specialty crops include many kinds of vegetable and fruit plants and trees, each with their own environmental preferences to thrive and be productive. These perennial and annual crops have high levels of sensitivities to the timing and distribution of temperature (frost and high heat), excess water, prolonged periods of wetness and drought, high winds, hail, and long term shifts in climate. Specialty crop growers know that their local weather and climate are the key to productive and profitable crops; and they track their local weather daily and over time to manage their crops. To better understand how growers perceive weather-based uncertainties and the impacts of variable weather on annual and longer-term production, we conducted seven face-to-face meetings with 106 US specialty crop growers and their advisors. The six technical reports below present conceptual maps and priority rankings of the concerns some US growers expressed in 2015 and 2016.

Midwest Climate and Specialty Crops

Climate, Weather and Sweet Corn

Climate, Weather and Wine Grapes

Climate, Weather and Strawberries

Climate, Weather and Apples

Climate, Weather and Hops