MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) — The CalAgroClimate website developed at UC Merced is designed to help growers avoid frost or heat damage.
Farmers can determine their growing location.
“We use Google Maps and so you can select a specific location or address, score, specific location,” said UC Merced professor Tapan Pathak.
Farmers like Scott Hunter of Hunter Farms say the information can be very useful.
“We’ve had these options in the past, but you have to go to different sites to get it. All the temperature data. And then if you have properties spread out, that’s great,” Hunter explained.
Pathak says the project was developed with USDA Climate Centers.
The data goes beyond frost and heat advisories.
It includes a crop phenology tool to help farmers track growth and development.
“Farmers or agricultural customers can get information about critical growth stages for a given crop. For example, when would the bud break, when would the
flowering happens, when would the fruit set take place,” Pathak said.
Growers only need to type in crop and variety information to access decades of vital information.
“Now to be able to get the historical data immediately, it’s a valuable tool for farmers. It’s a wonderful, wonderful thing that the UC students have put together,” Hunter.
CalAgroClimate also offers pest control information to help farmers protect their crops.
They will be able to see how the heat affects the life cycle of certain pests.
“You can see when to schedule your pesticide application, field scouting, those kinds of things,” Pathak said.
Hunter says he will definitely use the data provided by UC Merced.
“Being able to do that in a purposeful way is responsible and it’s the future of farming here in California.”
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