Tag Archives: farming

NEWA needs your help – take our online survey!

The Network for Environment and Weather Applications (NEWA) is seeking new and experienced users to take an important online survey — it will only take 10 minutes of your time. Use your smart device, tablet or desktop computer!

Take the survey now:


All responses are anonymous and confidential. They will not be shared with any outside group.

Whether you’ve used NEWA’s online pest forecast models for years or have never used NEWA at all, we will benefit from your responses. Why? Because we are building a new website at newa.cornell.edu, one that’ll be as easy to use on your smart phone as on your desktop, and we want to build it the way you want it to be.

NEWA is an online agricultural decision support system that uses real time weather data, streamed over the internet from 573 weather stations throughout the Northeast, Midwest and mid-Atlantic. NEWA provides insect and plant disease pest management tools, degree days, and weather information for growers, consultants, Extension educators, faculty, and others.

NEWA models and resources are available free of charge, and are used to make informed localized crop management decisions. The NEWA website will be upgraded soon and we want to know what users’, new and old, want and need out of the new website.

Thank you for participating!

Growing frustration about the weather. What can we do?

2017 has been a very wet year. But you already know that. From May to July, most of upstate New York received at least five inches of rain above normal. But go back to 2016 and the same areas had deficits ranging from one two five inches. That’s a real drag.

Northeast Regional Climate Center. Cornell University

How are you supposed to plan ahead when it seems impossible to predict what will happen? It seems like every growing season is different. What our parents and grandparents knew about weather patterns on the family farm may no longer apply.

‘It’s June and we’re not even in our fields.’

‘I missed the cutoff date for crop insurance.’

The list goes on and on.

The Network for Environment and Weather Applications is a useful resource for fruit and vegetable growers when it comes to understanding how changing weather conditions affect your operation on a daily or weekly basis. For example, online tools such as our apple scab and fire blight models help you understand disease risk and subsequent action steps on a daily basis to protect your apples.

But what about the bigger picture? As growers, how do we even begin to predict management needs in the upcoming season when historical patterns and family knowledge may no longer be as useful?  Precipitation, drought, extreme weather, extended growing season and so on are all hitting us at once. Our climate is changing.

Dr. Allison Chatrchyan, director of the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions has taken steps to explore this ‘big picture’ dilemma by collaborating with Cornell professors Dr. Art DeGaetano and Dr. Toby Ault, as well as regional Cornell Cooperative Extension specialists throughout New York State who form the Climate Smart Farming (CSF) Extension Team.

Climate Smart Farming Team Members

Laura McDermott Regional Extension Specialist Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Program
Dr. Kitty O’Neil Northern NY Regional Agronomist North Country Regional Ag Team
Dr. Kimberly Morrill Regional Dairy Specialist North Country Regional Ag Team
Dr. Darcy Telenko Extension Vegetable Specialist Cornell Vegetable Program

Online climate smart decision tools have also been developed to complement the work of CSF Extension Team members.  Visit the Cornell Climate Smart Farming website to explore these resources related to agriculture and climate. Where NEWA looks at short-term risks posed by insects and diseases to a crop, the CSF program takes a broader view, providing historical context to current conditions and seasonal trends. By doing so, growers can move in a direction of understanding ways in which fluctuating climate conditions could influence farming operations.

Dr. Chatrchryan provides a great overview of the CSF program in this video. Her talk, Cornell’s Climate Smart Farming Program: Research, Tools, and Extension Support for Farmers in New York and the Northeast, was presented at the 2016 New York State IPM Conference Climate, Weather, Data: Protecting Our Crops and Landscapes. You can also download a PDF of Dr. Chatrchyan’s presentation.

Special thanks to Dr. A. Chatrchyan, L. McDermott, Dr. Kitty O’Neill, Dr. K. Morrill, Dr. D. Telenko, Dr. A. DeGaetano (NRCC) Dr. Toby Ault (EAS) and Dr. M. Hoffmann (CICCS)

Dan Olmstead is Coordinator of the New York State IPM program’s Network for Environment and Weather Applications. You can follow him on Twitter (@dolmstead) and Instagram (@dan_olmstead).

Farm adaptation: grower programs and resources

A variety of programs and informational resources are available to inform your farm adaptation plan.  NEWA provides real time forecasting tools for insect and disease pests. The Cornell Smart Farming Program provides tools for growers to address longer term climate concerns. The Animal Agriculture in a Changing Climate project provides a specialized set of tools for livestock producers. A number of reports have also been published recently that have information useful to the agricultural community.

Program Description
Network for Environment and Weather Applications (New York State Integrated Pest Management Program) NEWA delivers weather information and apps based on the weather collected that support and advance integrated pest management (IPM) and best management practices for agricultural and green industries. Our vision is that NEWA will become the source for weather-related information for the IPM practitioner in the Northeast
Cornell Smart Farming Program (Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions) The Cornell Climate Smart Farming program is a voluntary initiative that helps farmers in New York and the northeastern US to increase productivity in a sustainable way, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural production, and increase farm resiliency to extreme weather and climate variability.
Animal Agriculture in a Changing Climate (Cornell University Dairy Environmental Systems Program) Animal Agriculture in a Changing Climate fosters animal production practices that are environmentally sound and economically viable, and that create resiliency for animal producers and their partners.
United States Department of Agriculture Northeast Climate Hub The Northeast Climate Hub, building on capacity within USDA, delivers science-based knowledge and practical information to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and D.C
CLN eLearning  (Southern Regional Extension Forestry) CLN eLearning is designed to help Extension Professionals, Professional Crop Advisors and Professional Foresters incorporate climate change into their existing program areas and become Climate Literate. Many of our modules offer Continuing Education Credits from SAF and CCA.
Report  Description
 2014 USDA Climate Change Adaptation Plan  (USDA Office of the Chief Economist)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Climate Change Adaptation Plan presents strategies and actions to address the effects of climate change on key mission areas including agricultural production, food security, rural development, and forestry and natural resources conservation.

The 2014 USDA Climate Change Adaptation Plan includes input from eleven USDA agencies and offices.  It provides a detailed vulnerability assessment, reviews the elements of USDA’s mission that are at risk from climate change, and provides specific actions and steps being taken to build resilience to climate change.

National Climate Assessment: Agriculture (U.S. Global Change Research Program) The full report of the National Climate Assessment provides an in-depth look at climate change impacts on the U.S. and explores the impacts to agriculture.
Climate Impacts on Agriculture and Food  (United States Environmental Protection Agency) Agriculture is an important sector of the U.S. economy. The crops, livestock, and seafood produced  in the United States contribute more than $300 billion to the economy each year. When food-service and other agriculture-related industries are included, the agricultural and food sectors contribute more than $750 billion to the gross domestic product

Read part 1 and part 2 of this series.