Urban farmers are already strides ahead of generations past, as they transform vacant lots, small backyards and rooftops to luscious garden hosts. But living in the age of technology means urban farmers also have access to resources they never would have found on Grandpa’s farm.
The Weather Channel’s online Farmer’s Forecast tool, found on Weather.com, has pertinent agricultural information that’s easily accessible to urban farmers. Launched in July as part of Weather.com’s site redesign, the online Farmer’s Forecast tool includes several resources that urban farmers can use to prepare their gardens for the season’s weather:
Similar to the standard forecasting tool offered by the site, which provides users with weather forecasts by the hour and up to 10 days in advance, the Farmer’s Forecast tool relays agriculture-specific information to aid in farming decisions. Information includes the expected amount of precipitation; the expected soil moisture and UV index in a given hour; alerts to freeze, frost, wind or hail; and times of sunrise and sunset.
The farmer’s almanac provides average and historical weather conditions for the user’s specified area, allowing farmers to trade in a hard-copy version of the same information.
The Farmer’s Forecast tool gives farmers access to maps compiled by The Weather Channel that show farming-specific information, including soil moisture, precipitation, and typical freeze and wind, as well as a map that can be customized to the farmer’s needs and interests.
- Growing Degrees Day Calculator:
In response to farmer feedback, Weather.com launched the Growing Degree Days calculator as part of the Farmer’s Forecast tool. When the user enters a location, base temperature and time frame, the calculator determines crop growth by calculating accumulated heat over that time period. The tool allows farmers to compare the growing degree days of two different years after 2003 and provides a 30-year average of growing degree days.
Although the Farmer’s Forecast tool cannot be accessed via a smartphone, farmers can sign up for email and text alerts that will provide the forecast.
Weather.com’s redesign also included the introduction of several other weather apps, including the Watering Need Indicator, which serves as a gardener’s weather guide.