Results and Interpretations from a Survey on Agriculturally Related Weather Information

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  • 1 University of Nebraska Panhandle, Research and Extension Center, 4502 Avenue I, Scottsbluff, NE 69361
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A survey of “top” wheat farmers in 12 counties in western Nebraska was undertaken to help guide future research and extension programs (in agricultural meteorology and economics) in the region. One hundred forty-two farmers (59 percent of those receiving questionnaires) responded to the survey. Of the respondents, 42 percent own or are considering purchasing a personal computer; the vast majority of farmers own a rain gage and some form of temperature-measuring device; the respondents were moderately familiar with an existing Automated Weather Data Network in Nebraska; commercial and NOAA weather radio and commercial television are the main sources of weather data and information; short-term weather forecasts (1 day and 3–5 days) are most important to overall farm planning; respondents considered market and cost-of-production information and more-accurate weather forecasts most important in better management of their farm operations; the risk factors that impacted farm net income were economic followed by weather factors and marketing decisions; and most farmers would be willing to forward contract before the crop was half developed if good projections of crop status and yield could be made. A major constraint to preharvest forward contracting from some of the farmers' perspective appears to be variability in yield due to hail.

1 Published as paper 7678, Journal Series, Nebraska Agricultural Research Division.

A survey of “top” wheat farmers in 12 counties in western Nebraska was undertaken to help guide future research and extension programs (in agricultural meteorology and economics) in the region. One hundred forty-two farmers (59 percent of those receiving questionnaires) responded to the survey. Of the respondents, 42 percent own or are considering purchasing a personal computer; the vast majority of farmers own a rain gage and some form of temperature-measuring device; the respondents were moderately familiar with an existing Automated Weather Data Network in Nebraska; commercial and NOAA weather radio and commercial television are the main sources of weather data and information; short-term weather forecasts (1 day and 3–5 days) are most important to overall farm planning; respondents considered market and cost-of-production information and more-accurate weather forecasts most important in better management of their farm operations; the risk factors that impacted farm net income were economic followed by weather factors and marketing decisions; and most farmers would be willing to forward contract before the crop was half developed if good projections of crop status and yield could be made. A major constraint to preharvest forward contracting from some of the farmers' perspective appears to be variability in yield due to hail.

1 Published as paper 7678, Journal Series, Nebraska Agricultural Research Division.

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