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Beyond the “fit”: introducing climate forecasts among organic farmers in Georgia (United States)


Organic farmers are a prime clientele for climate services by virtue of their social profile and vulnerability of produce to climate extremes. The study draws on an online survey and in-depth interviews with organic farmers in Georgia (United States). It shows that organic farmers access and act on climate information in ways that reflect their emphasis on diversified and flexible systems. They favor a pluralistic knowledge base that integrates scientific expertise with place-based experience and intuitive understandings. Their management style combines information at multiple temporal scales and draws on a range of technical and social resources. Translating climate forecasts into usable science for organic farming requires attention to the identities, commitments, and relationships that define the organic farming community.

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Fig. 2


  1. 1.

    The Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network (AEMN) is comprised of 79 weather stations that are located across the State of Georgia.

  2. 2.

    In this paper, weather forecasts refer to predictions of conditions occurring in the next few hours to few days (up to 10 days). Climate forecasts refer to seasonal trends occurring in the next 3 to 4 months.

  3. 3.

    A CSA consists of a network of members who commit to support a farm operation for a season or a year. They pay “dues” in advance to helps cover farm expenses and receive weekly baskets of products in return.


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This work was supported by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-Climate Program Office (NOAA-CPO) and the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Services (USDA-CSREES). We are also grateful to the farmers and Georgia Organics.

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Correspondence to Carrie Furman.

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Furman, C., Roncoli, C., Crane, T. et al. Beyond the “fit”: introducing climate forecasts among organic farmers in Georgia (United States). Climatic Change 109, 791–799 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-011-0238-y

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  • Organic agriculture
  • Climate variability
  • Agricultural risk management
  • Seasonal climate forecasts
  • Southeastern United States