Drought monitoring

One more post from a student in the Intro to GIS course.

Climatologist Dr. Steven Quiring has developed an interactive, web-based research tool to help farmers predict when to plant and when to fertilize. The name of his project is “Developing a Real-Time Agricultural Drought Monitoring System for Delaware Using a Geospatial Framework”. It uses information collected from databases and from nine environmental observation stations across the U.S. State of Delaware to show rainfall and model soil moisture content in a GIS. Eventually, Quiring wants the program to allow users to simply click on a spot on a map and get crop yield predictions for an area as small as 2.5 square miles. Quiring said:

The purpose is to allow the farmer to make decisions based on current soil moisture conditions and how they will impact yield and to use that information to make decisions like should I fertilize, should I irrigate. If they have better information, they can make better decisions, which will put more money in their pockets.

Quiring hopes to post a public interactive monitoring web site very soon, which he believes will have commercial applications as the site tracks reservoir levels, likely mosquito-breeding sites and additional agricultural data. Sounds like a pretty great project to me!

More information on Quiring’s work can be found here.

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