Farmers and landowners interested in using federal data and information to prepare and cope with climate variations can use new "Climate Hub" websites as a key source of information, USDA said this week.
Randy Johnson, USDA Climate Hubs National Leader, said in a USDA blog post that the sites are designed for use by farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, and others to "find useful, practical information to help cope with the challenges and stressors caused by a changing climate.
"We hope this site will serve as a gateway not only to the information and tools provided by the regional Hubs, but also to the larger network of USDA programs that provide conservation and planning support to land managers," he wrote.
USDA first announced creation of the Climate Hubs last summer, and officially released the seven sites for the Hubs in February: Ames, Iowa; Durham, N.H.; Raleigh, N.C.; Fort Collins, Colo.; El Reno, Okla.; Corvallis, Ore.; and Las Cruces, N.M. Three sub-hubs are located in Houghton, Mich.; Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico; and Davis, Calif.
The Climate Hubs, USDA said earlier this year, will address increasing risks such as fires, invasive pests, floods and droughts on a regional basis, "aiming to translate science and research into information to farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners on ways to adapt and adjust their resource management."
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According to Johnson, the new Hubs site includes a suite of pages specific to each region across the country. By browsing through the pages for each region, farmers and landowners can find information on agriculture and forestry vulnerabilities related to climate change and tools to cope with these changes.
Climate Hub site screenshot, USDA
The site provides resources related to drought, fire risks, pests and diseases, climate variability, and heat stress, and links users to the network of USDA conservation programs and resources that provide producers with technical and financial assistance to manage risks, Johnson wrote.
The sites also connect users to the latest research, educational materials, and tools for managing climate risks via links to land grant universities, Extension services and other climate specialists.
View the USDA Climate Hub website.