7.2 Using Cumulative Rainfall Graphs for Agriculture Risk Management

Wednesday, 13 January 2016: 10:45 AM
Room 245 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Albert Sutherland, Oklahoma State University, Norman, OK; and B. G. Illston

The Oklahoma Mesonet has created long-term average graph and map making tools. The long-term average graphing tool can be used to monitor daily rainfall accumulation. In 2014, the Oklahoma statewide hard red winter wheat crop production was the lowest in fifty-seven years, 51 million bushels. Two years earlier, in 2012, the state wide wheat production was 155 million bushels. The primary cause of the disastrous crop in 2014 was the lack of rainfall during the spring growth period. Rainfall for 2014 and 2012 from the Oklahoma Mesonet showed how important rainfall distribution during the spring season is compared to seasonal or annual averages. The timing of rainfall during the spring season showed a delay in the western parts of the state, but more typical rainfall timing in eastern Oklahoma locations. This case study demonstrates how monitoring daily growing season rainfall amounts can be used as a risk management tool to monitor crop yield potential. It hints at the severity shifts in weather patterns can have on agricultural production.
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