A changing climate introduces challenges for producers in the Northwest. The following resources can help farmers adjust their practices or even transform their operations to meet these challenges:
AgBiz Logic and AgBiz Logic Climate
AgBiz Logic uniquely collects, manages and optimizes farm level data as the foundation for economic, financial, and climate decision-support tools enabling agribusiness professionals, including producers, to make sustainable choices that will improve their bottom-line. This suite of tools incorporates AgBiz Climate which allows users to integrate local climate change predictions into their financial planning.
Climate Mapper and the Northwest Climate Toolbox
The Climate Mapper is a web-based application that allows users to explore a number of key climate variables that will impact agricultural production in the region. The Climate Mapper provides downscaled climate data and derived climate metrics including cold hardiness, growing degree days, and reference evapotranspiration that may be useful for agricultural decision making. The Northwest Climate Hub partnered with colleagues at University of Idaho, the Northwest Knowledge Network and Oregon State University to develop the Climate Mapper, which is now part of a suite of tools hosted by the Northwest Climate Toolbox.
Soil Health Initiative
There are opportunities for farmers and agricultural producers to implement practices that allow producers to adapt to changes while also mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. For example, proper soil management and increased soil organic matter along with proper nitrogen management can help to reduce greenhouse gases while also enabling a more resilient foundation of healthy soils for a more resilient agriculture. Washington State University developed a series of regional case studies that examine the kinds of practices that farmers might implement to build resilience in their operation while the Natural Resources Conservation Service is busy promoting soil health through their recently adopted Soil Health Initiative.
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
NRCS works with farmers, ranchers and forest landowners across the country to help them enhance agricultural productivity and protect our natural resources through conservation. Common technical assistance includes: resource assessment, practice design and resource monitoring. Your NRCS conservation planner will help you determine if financial assistance is right for you. Technical assistance is also available online through Conservation Client Gateway
Washington State University’s AgWeatherNet provides current and historical weather data from WSU’s network of 178 automated weather stations. WSU’s automated weather stations are located primarily in the irrigated regions of eastern Washington. Some variables tracked by AgWeatherNet include air temperature, relative humidity, dew point temperature, soil temperature at 8 inches, rainfall, wind speed, wind direction, solar radiation and leaf wetness.
REACCH Decision Support Tools
REACCH Decision Support Tools are a suite of web-based decision support tools which focus on decision-making issues specific to crops in the inland Pacific Northwest. Both short-term decisions, such as scheduling fertilizer application and pest management practices, as well as long-term decisions, such as assessing specific locations for crop suitability, are supported. Scientists with the Regional Approaches to Climate Change (REACCH) also developed climate and weather tools to get information about location-specific historical climate, current weather, seasonal forecasts and future projections.
Washington State University- Tree Fruit Decision Aid System
The Washington State University-Tree Fruit Decision Aid System is an integrated pest management decision support system that provides time-sensitive information and pest models for pest management in Washington State tree fruits. They collaborate with scientists to integrate tools, management information, and models into a decision aid system that will assist Washington tree fruit growers make management decisions and remain competitive in the world economy. A brief introduction is available at here.
Wastes to Fuels: Anaerobic Digestion and Biochar
Researchers at Washington State University are developing and evaluating technologies to transform wastes (such as dairy manure and municipal organics) into energy, recovered nutrients, biochar, and other value-added products as part of an integrated biorefinery. Numerous extension fact sheets on these topics are available at. A webinar series on anaerobic digestion is also available for view. The Anaerobic Digester (AD) System Enterprise Budget Calculator is a tool intended for dairy owners, AD system industry experts, and AD researchers to be able to easily calculate the economic value of investment under a variety of technology and price scenarios for an AD system.