The American Farm Bureau on Wednesday testified on behalf of the National Integrated Drought Information System, which provides national drought data and information. Funding for the system is set to expire at the end of the year.
AFBF board member and Maryland Farm Bureau President Patricia Langenfelder spoke before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment in support of the system. She said the reauthorization is timely.
“Much of the nation is currently in the grip of a significant drought that will ultimately touch the lives of every agricultural producer and consumer in this country. For this reason alone, it is important to have the best, most up-to-date information on the nation’s drought conditions,” she said.
The AFBF said by coordinating the data collection, summarization and dissemination efforts of multiple entities, NIDIS has become an invaluable tool within the agricultural community. The system puts relevant weather and climate data at the fingertips of farmers, market analysts, researchers, extension professionals, crop consultants and anyone else with an interest in U.S. agricultural production, allowing them to more adequately plan for and respond to a drought’s impacts.
“This kind of data allows market participants to determine what crops are being most directly impacted by drought and to incorporate that information into market analysis, price projections and risk management planning,” Langenfelder said.
“It’s imperative that America’s farmers, ranchers and the market system have the best information available to protect against the vagaries of uncertain weather,” continued Lagenfelder. “Farm Bureau supports reauthorization of NIDIS because it provides the nation’s farmers, ranchers and markets an effective drought warning system for key indicators of drought conditions and impacts.”