agrometeorological tools and services for sustainable agriculture

wamis.org

agrometeorological tools and services for sustainable agriculture

AGROMETEOROLOGICAL TOOLS AND

SERVICES FOR SUSTAINABLE

AGRICULTURE

- WMO REGIONS IV &VI

Nicholas M. Holden | Anthony J. Brereton | Ireland


TERMS OF REFERENCE

• To review and evaluate the status of

agrometeorological applications to conserve and

manage natural and environmental resources for the

benefit of agriculture, rangelands, forestry, fisheries

and other relevant rural activities

• Confined to Regions IV and VI

• Definitions / concepts

• A framework for analysis

• Issues that arise


WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE

AGRICULTURE?

• "the management and conservation of the natural resource base, and the

orientation of technological and institutional change in such a manner as

to ensure the attainment and continued satisfaction of human needs for

present and future generations. Such development... conserves land,

water, plant and animal genetic resources, is environmentally nondegrading,

technically appropriate, economically viable and socially

acceptable."


WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE

AGRICULTURE?

• "the management and conservation of the natural resource base, and the

orientation of technological and institutional change in such a manner as

to ensure the attainment and continued satisfaction of human needs for

present and future generations. Such development... conserves land,

water, plant and animal genetic resources, is environmentally nondegrading,

technically appropriate, economically viable and socially

acceptable."

Production


WHAT IS AN AGROMETEOROLOGICAL TOOL?

• Any means by which agriculturally relevant

meteorological information is made available to a

farmer to be used as the basis for implementing best

management

• Might be regarded as supporting sustainable production

if addresses the three corners of the sustainability

triangle


ARE TOOLS FOR SUSTAINABLE

AGRICULTURE DIFFERENT?

The issues:

• Globalization, climate change and the discovery of the effects of

human activities on the environment have re-established the

importance of agriculture for society in regions IV and VI

• Society wants low cost food and little environmental impact – do

these competing demands drive sustainable production?

• The option to buffer the effects of meteorological conditions in an

unrestricted way is not possible for sustainable systems

• Effective application of agrometeorological tools becomes critical for

the successful operation of sustainable systems

Tools for sustainable agriculture have to account

for the imposed constraints of sustainability


FROM WEATHER DATA TO FARMER…


FROM WEATHER DATA TO FARMER…

Even in Regions IV and VI,

communications options remain

limited in rural environments,

e.g. farmers in Ireland cannot

use web sites that require

broadband access


A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS OF

TOOLS…

Attribute Options Comments

Spatial scale

Climate zone

Biogeophysical zone

•Farm

• Catchment

• Region

• Country

• Geopolitical region

• Continent

• Global

• Generic based on plant growth

• Energy / moisture balance

• Genetic

•Comfort

• geology

• vegetation

•hydrology

At what scale does the tool

operate?

Appropriate resolution?

Based on what?

Based on what?


A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS OF

TOOLS…

Attribute Options Comments

Spatial scale

Climate zone

Biogeophysical zone

•Farm

• Catchment

• Region

• Country

• Geopolitical region

• Continent

• Global

• Generic based on plant growth

• Energy / moisture balance

• Genetic

•Comfort

• geology

• vegetation

•hydrology

At what scale does the tool

operate?

Appropriate resolution?

Based on what?

Based on what?


A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS OF

TOOLS…

Attribute Options Comments

Spatial scale

Climate zone

Biogeophysical zone

•Farm

• Catchment

• Region

• Country

• Geopolitical region

• Continent

• Global

• Generic based on plant growth

• Energy / moisture balance

• Genetic

•Comfort

• geology

• vegetation

•hydrology

At what scale does the tool

operate?

Appropriate resolution?

Based on what?

Based on what?


A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS OF

TOOLS…

Attribute Options Comments

Spatial scale

Climate zone

Biogeophysical zone

•Farm

• Catchment

• Region

• Country

• Geopolitical region

• Continent

• Global

• Generic based on plant growth

• Energy / moisture balance

• Genetic

•Comfort

• geology

• vegetation

•hydrology

At what scale does the tool

operate?

Appropriate resolution?

Based on what?

Based on what?


A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS OF

TOOLS…

Attribute Options Comments

Spatial scale

Climate zone

Biogeophysical zone

•Farm

• Catchment

• Region

• Country

• Geopolitical region

• Continent

• Global

• Generic based on plant growth

• Energy / moisture balance

• Genetic

•Comfort

• geology

• vegetation

•hydrology

At what scale does the tool

operate?

Appropriate resolution?

Based on what?

Based on what?


A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS OF

TOOLS…

Attribute Options Comments

Spatial scale

Climate zone

Biogeophysical zone

•Farm

• Catchment

• Region

• Country

• Geopolitical region

• Continent

• Global

• Generic based on plant growth

• Energy / moisture balance

• Genetic

•Comfort

• geology

• vegetation

•hydrology

At what scale does the tool

operate?

Appropriate resolution?

Based on what?

Based on what?


A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS OF

TOOLS…

Attribute Options Comments

Spatial scale

Climate zone

Biogeophysical zone

•Farm

• Catchment

• Region

• Country

• Geopolitical region

• Continent

• Global

• Generic based on plant growth

• Energy / moisture balance

• Genetic

•Comfort

• geology

• vegetation

•hydrology

At what scale does the tool

operate?

Appropriate resolution?

Based on what?

Based on what?


A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS OF

TOOLS…

Attribute Options Comments

Spatial scale

Climate zone

Biogeophysical zone

•Farm

• Catchment

• Region

• Country

• Geopolitical region

• Continent

• Global

• Generic based on plant growth

• Energy / moisture balance

• Genetic

•Comfort

• geology

• vegetation

•hydrology

At what scale does the tool

operate?

Appropriate resolution?

Based on what?

Based on what?


A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS OF

TOOLS…

Attribute Options Comments

Production system

Type of tool

Training requirements

Temporal specificity

Target user

• Arable, grassland, livestock, fruit, …

• Intensive, extensive, substance,

cash,…

• Forecasts tools

• Information tools

• Management support tools

• Learning aids

• Decision support tools

• Government

• Advisors

•Farmers

• Regulators

What classification to use?

Is it intuitive?

Knowledge demand?

Does it apply to specific

situations and times?

Can the same tool meet

requirements of different end

users?

Sustainability ∆ • Economic / Environmental / Social How to assess this?


A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS OF

TOOLS…

Attribute Options Comments

Production system

Type of tool

Training requirements

Temporal specificity

Target user

• Arable, grassland, livestock, fruit, …

• Intensive, extensive, substance,

cash,…

• Forecasts tools

• Information tools

• Management support tools

• Learning aids

• Decision support tools

• Government

• Advisors

•Farmers

• Regulators

What classification to use?

Is it intuitive?

Knowledge demand?

Does it apply to specific

situations and times?

Can the same tool meet

requirements of different end

users?

Sustainability ∆ • Economic / Environmental / Social How to assess this?


A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS OF

TOOLS…

Attribute Options Comments

Production system

Type of tool

Training requirements

Temporal specificity

Target user

• Arable, grassland, livestock, fruit, …

• Intensive, extensive, substance,

cash,…

• Forecasts tools

• Information tools

• Management support tools

• Learning aids

• Decision support tools

• Government

• Advisors

•Farmers

• Regulators

What classification to use?

Is it intuitive?

Knowledge demand?

Does it apply to specific

situations and times?

Can the same tool meet

requirements of different end

users?

Sustainability ∆ • Economic / Environmental / Social How to assess this?


A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS OF

TOOLS…

Attribute Options Comments

Production system

Type of tool

Training requirements

Temporal specificity

Target user

• Arable, grassland, livestock, fruit, …

• Intensive, extensive, substance,

cash,…

• Forecasts tools

• Information tools

• Management support tools

• Learning aids

• Decision support tools

• Government

• Advisors

•Farmers

• Regulators

What classification to use?

Is it intuitive?

Knowledge demand?

Does it apply to specific

situations and times?

Can the same tool meet

requirements of different end

users?

Sustainability ∆ • Economic / Environmental / Social How to assess this?


A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS OF

TOOLS…

Attribute Options Comments

Production system

Type of tool

Training requirements

Temporal specificity

Target user

• Arable, grassland, livestock, fruit, …

• Intensive, extensive, substance,

cash,…

• Forecasts tools

• Information tools

• Management support tools

• Learning aids

• Decision support tools

• Government

• Advisors

•Farmers

• Regulators

What classification to use?

Is it intuitive?

Knowledge demand?

Does it apply to specific

situations and times?

Can the same tool meet

requirements of different end

users?

Sustainability ∆ • Economic / Environmental / Social How to assess this?


A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS OF

TOOLS…

Attribute Options Comments

Production system

Type of tool

Training requirements

Temporal specificity

Target user

• Arable, grassland, livestock, fruit, …

• Intensive, extensive, substance,

cash,…

• Forecasts tools

• Information tools

• Management support tools

• Learning aids

• Decision support tools

• Government

• Advisors

•Farmers

• Regulators

What classification to use?

Is it intuitive?

Knowledge demand?

Does it apply to specific

situations and times?

Can the same tool meet

requirements of different end

users?

Sustainability ∆ • Economic / Environmental / Social How to assess this?


A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS OF

TOOLS…

Attribute Options Comments

Production system

Type of tool

Training requirements

Temporal specificity

Target user

• Arable, grassland, livestock, fruit, …

• Intensive, extensive, substance,

cash,…

• Forecasts tools

• Information tools

• Management support tools

• Learning aids

• Decision support tools

• Government

• Advisors

•Farmers

• Regulators

What classification to use?

Is it intuitive?

Knowledge demand?

Does it apply to specific

situations and times?

Can the same tool meet

requirements of different end

users?

Sustainability ∆ • Economic / Environmental / Social How to assess this?


A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS OF

TOOLS…

Attribute Options Comments

Production system

Type of tool

Training requirements

Temporal specificity

Target user

• Arable, grassland, livestock, fruit, …

• Intensive, extensive, substance,

cash,…

• Forecasts tools

• Information tools

• Management support tools

• Learning aids

• Decision support tools

• Government

• Advisors

•Farmers

• Regulators

What classification to use?

Is it intuitive?

Knowledge demand?

Does it apply to specific

situations and times?

Can the same tool meet

requirements of different end

users?

Sustainability ∆ • Economic / Environmental / Social How to assess this?


A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS OF

TOOLS…

Attribute Options Comments

Production system

Type of tool

Training requirements

Temporal specificity

Target user

• Arable, grassland, livestock, fruit, …

• Intensive, extensive, substance,

cash,…

• Forecasts tools

• Information tools

• Management support tools

• Learning aids

• Decision support tools

• Government

• Advisors

•Farmers

• Regulators

What classification to use?

Is it intuitive?

Knowledge demand?

Does it apply to specific

situations and times?

Can the same tool meet

requirements of different end

users?

Sustainability ∆ • Economic / Environmental / Social How to assess this?


A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS OF

TOOLS…

Attribute Options Comments

Production system

Type of tool

Training requirements

Temporal specificity

Target user

• Arable, grassland, livestock, fruit, …

• Intensive, extensive, substance,

cash,…

• Forecasts tools

• Information tools

• Management support tools

• Learning aids

• Decision support tools

• Government

• Advisors

•Farmers

• Regulators

What classification to use?

Is it intuitive?

Knowledge demand?

Does it apply to specific

situations and times?

Can the same tool meet

requirements of different end

users?

Sustainability ∆ • Economic / Environmental / Social How to assess this?


A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS OF

TOOLS…

Attribute Options Comments

Production system

Type of tool

Training requirements

Temporal specificity

Target user

• Arable, grassland, livestock, fruit, …

• Intensive, extensive, substance,

cash,…

• Forecasts tools

• Information tools

• Management support tools

• Learning aids

• Decision support tools

• Government

• Advisors

•Farmers

• Regulators

What classification to use?

Is it intuitive?

Knowledge demand?

Does it apply to specific

situations and times?

Can the same tool meet

requirements of different end

users?

Sustainability ∆ • Economic / Environmental / Social How to assess this?


A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS OF

TOOLS…

Attribute Options Comments

Production system

Type of tool

Training requirements

Temporal specificity

Target user

• Arable, grassland, livestock, fruit, …

• Intensive, extensive, substance,

cash,…

• Forecasts tools

• Information tools

• Management support tools

• Learning aids

• Decision support tools

• Government

• Advisors

•Farmers

• Regulators

What classification to use?

Is it intuitive?

Knowledge demand?

Does it apply to specific

situations and times?

Can the same tool meet

requirements of different end

users?

Sustainability ∆ • Economic / Environmental / Social How to assess this?


HOW THE FRAMEWORK MIGHT BE

USED…

1. Identify the tool

2. Assess against the criteria in the framework

3. Record in a database

4. Query the database

– What farming systems are not supported by tools?

– What regions have poor support?

5. Interpret the results

– Is poor support due to poor observation network /

infrastructure / other?

– What training / CPE is required?


EXAMPLE 1: SMD MODEL (IRE)

Attribute Notes Classification

Spatial scale

Climate zone

Biogeophysical

zone

Production system

Type of tool

Training

requirements

Temporal

specificity

Target user

Predicted at 25 km 2 resolution

Can operate at farm to national scale

Can work anywhere

Needs local calibration

Any, but model relates to grassland

Grassland agriculture

Can be adapted to any reference crop

Information

Forecast

Training required to interpret to a specific situation

No use without training

24 hour time period

Works year round

Farmer

Advisor

Policy maker

Researchers

National

Sustainability ∆ Output means little without further interpretation N / A

Marine West Coast

Natural: temperate forest, peat, grassland

Livestock (grazed grass)

(Can be adapted to crops)

Information base

Constraint management

Consultancy

Yes

No

Any


EXAMPLE 1: SMD MODEL (IRE)

Attribute Notes Classification

Spatial scale

Climate zone

Biogeophysical

zone

Production system

Type of tool

Training

requirements

Temporal

specificity

Target user

Predicted at 25 km 2 resolution

Can operate at farm to national scale

Can work anywhere

Needs local calibration

Any, but model relates to grassland

Grassland agriculture

Can be adapted to any reference crop

Information

Forecast

Training required to interpret to a specific situation

No use without training

24 hour time period

Works year round

Farmer

Advisor

Policy maker

Researchers

National

Sustainability ∆ Output means little without further interpretation N / A

Marine West Coast

Natural: temperate forest, peat, grassland

Livestock (grazed grass)

(Can be adapted to crops)

Information base

Constraint management

Consultancy

Yes

No

Any


EXAMPLE 2: PL@NTEINFO (DK)

Attribute Notes Classification

Spatial scale

Climate zone

Biogeophysical

zone

Production system

Type of tool

Training

requirements

Temporal

specificity

National scale forecasts

Farm scale application

Based on Danish observation network

Being exported to other countries

Not really that relevant for this tool

Aimed at crop production but includes some

manure management tools

Offers information and recommendations for the

farmer.

Farmer can give access to contracted consultant

Requires assistance to use

Requires knowledge to interpret the information

Recommendations and information are specific to

the activity and time of year

Farm

Humid continental / Continental subarctic

Natural: temperate/ boreal forest

Arable crops

Target user Farmer oriented Farmer

Information base

Constraint management

Consultancy

Yes

Yes (varies by component)

Sustainability ∆ Environment and production (economic) focus Class 7: ecological / economical


EXAMPLE 2: PL@NTEINFO (DK)

Attribute Notes Classification

Spatial scale

Climate zone

Biogeophysical

zone

Production system

Type of tool

Training

requirements

Temporal

specificity

National scale forecasts

Farm scale application

Based on Danish observation network

Being exported to other countries

Not really that relevant for this tool

Aimed at crop production but includes some

manure management tools

Offers information and recommendations for the

farmer.

Farmer can give access to contracted consultant

Requires assistance to use

Requires knowledge to interpret the information

Recommendations and information are specific to

the activity and time of year

Farm

Humid continental / Continental subarctic

Natural: temperate/ boreal forest

Arable crops

Target user Farmer oriented Farmer

Information base

Constraint management

Consultancy

Yes

Yes (varies by component)

Sustainability ∆ Environment and production (economic) focus Class 7: ecological / economical


ISSUES THAT ARISE … 1 …

CLASSIFICATION

Attribute

Spatial scale

Climate zone

Biogeophysical zone

Production system

Type of tool

Training requirements

Temporal specificity

Target user

Sustainability ∆

Notes

Can a universal classification be defined?

Membership of multiple categories?

What climate / agroclimate classification is appropriate?

Needed for identification of gaps in provision of services

Not very relevant for intensive production

Perhaps needed for systems that rely on natural resources (forestry)

Needed to support biodiversity and similar environmental issues

What classification and level of detail is needed?

Are parts of the ‘market’ not being served?

What will it cost to make these tools useful?

Is this necessary? Should it be specificity in general?

Are parts of the ‘market’ not being served?

Is this appropriate and possible?


ISSUES THAT ARISE … 2 … GENERAL

• Can the framework help in finding the right tool for the job?

• Does it capture stakeholder investment in the tool?

• Are the issues of boundaries between meteorological services

captured?

• Is the role of long-term, seasonal and short-term forecasting captured?

• Is uncertainty properly addressed?

• Is the role of model output interpretation captured?

• Are IT requirements captured?

• Is the need for tools matched to constraints of sustainable agriculture

captured?


COMMENT …

• Agrometeorological tools tend to depend on informal

relationships between stakeholders (meteorological

services, government, agricultural agencies,

researchers, consultants, farmers).

• An appropriate weather service structure (like World

Weather Watch) is needed to offer a convenient

structure on which to base an agrometeorological

services that are not defined by national frontiers


DO TOOLS PROMOTE

SUSTAINABILITY?

• If a tool is designed to maximize any particular component of the

sustainability triangle then probably not

• Will only promote sustainability once we have defined what

‘sustainability’ means for a specific farm / region / system and in

the context of the policy environment in which the production

system operates

• Sustainability is a global scale concept for regions IV and VI,

therefore global scale solutions will be required

There is little evidence from the information collected to

date that the tools promote sustainability


DRAFT RECOMMENDATIONS

• Effective translation of meteorological forecasts into a form understood by

the farmer is essential

• A formal service delivery structure needs to be defined. This should be a

“light-touch” type approach but should make decision making about

collaboration, interpretation and transmission of information more straightforward

• Agricultural activities and agrometeorology are not defined by national

frontiers therefore transnational structures may be appropriate

• Tool and services must be designed to balance the components of the

sustainability triangle

• We will only promote sustainability once we have defined what

‘sustainability’ means for a specific farm / region / system and in the context

of the policy environment in which the production system operates


DRAFT RECOMMENDATIONS

• Sustainability is a global scale concept for regions IV and VI, therefore

global scale solutions will be required

• Tools should be implemented as services aimed at multiple stakeholders

• Tools should report probabilities where possible to assist with risk

management

• Tools and services should address long-term (strategic), seasonal (tactical)

and short-term (operational) forecasting and the distinct differences between

these services

• Service delivery should assume a basic minimum access to ICT and should

build up from the minimum in a progressive manner


WHAT NEXT?

• Review work to date in light of feedback from Expert

Team meeting

• Circulate draft report and request for examples of

tools to agrometeorologist in each member state

• Try to analyze response in terms of the proposed

framework

• Make recommendations based on review of tools

available and review of existing thinking as contained

in the report

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines