A survey was conducted across Michigan in early 1986 in an attempt to better understand the needs of the agricultural community for weather information. The sample analyzed represented 318 respondents in agricultural professions. A smaller sample (227 respondents) representing four major groups of growers was also studied: field crops, fruit, vegetables, and livestock. The survey indicates the importance of accurate and timely agricultural weather information. A vast majority (88%) use such information on a daily basis, and most (71%) indicate potential annual savings in excess of $1000 through using such information. A variety of weather and weather-related variables were seen as important. Although some of the important variables, such as precipitation and air temperature, are included in public forecasts, many of them, such as degree days, humidity, and evaporation, are not. The existence of agricultural forecasts and advisories thus remains essential. Commercial radio and television are the two top current and preferred means of receiving agricultural weather information, but there is increasing desire to utilize such specialized modes as NOAA Weather Radio, telephone recordings, and computerized information-delivery systems. The overall message is that agricultural weather information is crucial and that every effort should be made to generate what is needed and then to disseminate it in a timely and preferred manner.

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