Abstract

Through a computer-based system, weather data from Illinois are collected daily, checked, and summarized into various climatic products within hours after collection. This system was controlled for two years to demonstrate system feasibility, determine user interest and product desires, and plan for statewide urge. This study focuses on usage of system products. The private sector (agribusiness news media, and private industry) was the most frequent and persistent user group, suggesting user-pay as a possible approach for funding such a system. State and federal agencies, farmers, and extension agents also use the system but primarily during weather stress periods. The characteristics of usage should help in the design and selection of products in other emerging state and regional systems for dissemination of climate data and information. The usage patterns also indicate how climate conditions impact various private and public sectors in a humid continental climate.

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