The future of serving agriculture with weather/climate information and forecasting: some indications and observations

M. W. Seeley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Weather/climate information and forecasting services to agriculture are discussed from three perspectives: tradition, transition and technology. Traditional weather and climate services to agriculture have been highly successful. For example, numerous applied climatological studies and references have been derived from the primarily voluntary network of climate observers in the United States. However, traditional climatic studies will probably not meet the needs of the future, given the significant transitions and technologies affecting agriculture. Agriculture is going through a number of significant transitions which will dictate to some degree what future services will be provided by the agrometeorological community. These transitions should be considered in the testing and deployment of new technologies. Both profitability and sustainability principles are fueling a largely voluntary move to the implementation of 'precision farming' information, methodologies and technologies. Concurrently, officials at all levels of government are considering regulatory legislation which would mandate that agricultural producers use more precise and well-documented management practices. To a large degree both the implementation of precision farming practices, as well as the enforcement of new regulatory laws to ensure food safety, and the quality of the environment will depend upon an even greater utilization of weather/climate information and forecasts. Though new technologies will be providing improvements in forecasting and improved climate services are becoming available, a number of important issues remain unclear and must be addressed by a coordinated effort within the agricultural weather and climate community, starting first with a renewed effort to educate agricultural clientele about the potential new services which the discipline has to offer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-59
Number of pages13
JournalAgricultural and Forest Meteorology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 1994

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