Climate change is underway. At least Otto Doering and more than 50 other professors at Purdue University think so. They have participated in the Purdue Climate Change Research Center since 2004.
Doering, a farm policy expert and Extension ag economist, isn't satisfied with just telling farmers that the climate is changing. He wants to help figure out ways they can learn information that researchers discover to be more effective in operating their farm operation.
The bottom line for Doering is to figure out how to help farmers be more profitable in a changing environment for crop production. He has high hopes for a pilot project called U2U. It stands for "useful to usable."
"The idea is to develop a bank of information about climate change and turn it into recommendations that farmers can use to do a better job of growing crops," Doering says.
Linda Prokopy in the College of Agriculture is heading up the project. You can check it out for yourself by clicking here.
There are a couple of practical applications that come to mind first, Doering says. Prokopy is helping to put information generated by research in a form you can understand, and then use in decision-making processes.
"You may want to think about when your corn pollinates, not just how it is rated to mature," Doering notes. "If the weather is shifting and it is more likely to be hotter at a certain time than another, you might want to use hybrids that won't pollinate during that hotter time window."
The other application is making selection of planting date decisions, and somewhat ties to the first point – when corn will pollinate. The goal is to give yourself better odds of putting corn in a more favorable window for pollination, which is the critical stage for corn production.
There will be other applications, Doering says. He believes this information and the U2U project will become more useful as time goes on.