Online Weather Tools Available for Farmers

June 24, 2009 at 7:30 am

The Weather Channel Interactive and Monsanto have launched a Growing Degree Days calculator at the Agriculture News & Forecast section at The Weather Channel and Monsanto have worked together to create an easy-to-use online tool available to compute growing degree days (GDD), a measurement that relates to anticipated crop growth by calculating the amount of accumulated heat over a specific period of time. Farmers simply enter location, select a base temperature, and choose start and end dates to get their GDD result. Farmers can compare two different years’ GDD (as far back as 2003) for the same date range and location. Additionally, each calculation includes the 30-year-average GDD for the selected dates and location. In the screenshot above I compared 2008 and 2009 GDDs for the period of May 15 through June 15 — you can see that 2009 is nearly 50 GDD units 2008. So try out the growing degree day calculator at


Another interesting online tool available for farmers is the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. This is a unique, non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (which includes rain, hail and snow). By using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive Web-site, our aim is to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education and research applications. This is a community project. Everyone can help, young, old, and in-between. The only requirements are an enthusiasm for watching and reporting weather conditions and a desire to learn more about how weather can effect and impact our lives. Volunteers will be required to complete a short online training course to learn how to make accurate precipitation measurements. In order to measure rainfall, a rain gauge will be required, and volunteers will need to purchase one if they do not have one. Volunteers will then make daily precipitation measurements, and enter precipitation data through the web site between 6:00 AM and 9:00 AM daily. To get started, visit

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