"Will the rain ever stop?" is the title of the Iowa Learning Farms February webinar to be held Wednesday, February 16 at noon. ILF is hosting a series of webinars on the third Wednesday of each month. The webinars will be held over the noon hour through Adobe Connect. Anyone who is interested can tune in and learn. All that is needed is a computer with Internet access.
Christopher J. Anderson, assistant director of the Climate Science Program at Iowa State University, is this month's presenter. He will present information and discuss the increasing Iowa rainfall amounts and the implications this has on the agricultural industry.
The Climate Science Program, headed up by Eugene Takle, explores the discipline of meteorology, but emphasizes climate as opposed to weather. Climate science is the study of aggregate weather events over certain time periods, whereas meteorology is the study of individual events. The Climate Science Program works with regional climate change data and then transforms it into information that decision-makers can use. Decision-makers include people working with U.S. Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Army Corp of Engineers—virtually anyone dealing with soil and water and are affected by climate.
Climatologists looking at impact of this changing rainfall pattern
"We look seasons ahead to decades ahead and help to interpret what the models mean," says Anderson. A clear trend in the United States is the frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation in the Northeastern and Central states. How is the agricultural industry adapting to these trends? Seed genetics, implement design, planting and harvesting schedules, and more, are being modified to withstand higher precipitation.
The long-term impact all of this has on the farming community is crucial. Farm management will need to adapt. "Grandchildren will run the farm very differently than it is being run today," says Anderson. "The farms will still be there, but may look very different."
To connect to the webinars, go to: http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/ilf/. Visit the ILF website to download a PDF file with detailed instructions. Also, watch the ILF website for topics and speakers for the remainder of 2011, www.extension.iastate.edu/ilf, as well as archived sessions to view.
Iowa Learning Farm is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa and the Iowa Farm Bureau.