provides weather information for farmers, gardeners
Send a link to a friend
[APRIL 21, 2005]
SPRINGFIELD -- As
farmers and gardeners begin tilling the soil, a resource is
available to provide assistance. The Illinois
State Water Survey, a division of the Illinois Department of
Natural Resources, offers a free website with user-friendly
information on the effects of weather on agriculture. The Water and
Atmospheric Resources Monitoring program site is at
"This resource is invaluable to anyone
with an interest in spring growing conditions, whether they have a
few tomato plants or thousands of acres of corn and beans," said
Joel Brunsvold, director of the Illinois Department of Natural
Resources. "Not only does it provide a wealth of information, it's
available includes daily updated weather information and soil
temperatures at various depths. Nineteen automated climate stations
operated by the Illinois State Water Survey supply the data. It also
includes biweekly observations of soil moisture conditions,
collected from across the state.
Last year, together with the
Integrated Pest Management group at the University of Illinois
Department of Crop Sciences, a degree-day calculator was added to
track and project growth cycles of 30 agricultural pests. It also
includes growing degree-days for corn and cold-weather crops.
Computations just added this spring are for three new pests: fruit
tree leaf roller, lilac borer and Western bean cutworm.
[to top of second column in this article]
The calculator allows users to
choose the station nearest their own location as well as a pest. The
program generates expected growth rates and provides information on
potential effects as degree-day thresholds for the pest are reached.
Another option allows users to track
their fields' crop growing degree-day accumulations by entering a
planting date. Just a click away are maps of current weather
information and soil temperatures under both bare soil and sod
surfaces at the weather stations. Also available are monthly issues
of the Illinois Water and Climate Summary and other current and
historical data from various Illinois State Water Survey water and
atmospheric resources networks.
Department of Natural Resources news release]