Evolution of Electronic Communications to Transfer Agricultural Weather Information

in HortTechnology

Access to weather information for planning and implementing horticultural practices is an important component of the production system for growers. Advances in meteorological instrumentation, data acquisition and storage, and communications technologies have improved greatly the potential for applying sophisticated weather information into daily on-farm decisionmaking. The North Carolina Agricultural Weather Program seeks to provide weather information to the horticultural interests of the state. It has developed over the past 13 years. Recently, budget reductions near 50% and the loss of two-thirds of the extension full-time equivalents have necessitated significant changes. Through regional cooperation and the use of electronic communications technology, the program has sustained these negative impacts and emerged as an improved program. This paper describes the evolution of a state agricultural weather program into what is now a regional cooperative project to provide the weather information horticultural producers require.

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