Climatic Change

, Volume 109, Issue 3–4, pp 791–799

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

  • Carrie Furman
  • Carla Roncoli
  • Todd Crane
  • Gerrit Hoogenboom
Letter

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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

Supplementary material

10584_2011_238_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.2 mb)
Online resource 1(DOC 1253 kb)
10584_2011_238_MOESM2_ESM.doc (1.2 mb)
Online resource 2(DOC 1241 kb)

References

  1. Baigorria GA, Jones JW, O'Brian J (2008) Potential predictability of crop yield using an ensemble climate forecast by a regional circulation model. Agr Forest Meteorol 148:1353–1361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Borron S (2006) Building resilience for an unpredictable future: how organic agriculture can help farmers adapt to climate change. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Sustainable Development Department, RomeGoogle Scholar
  3. Breuer NE, Cabrera VE, Ingram KT, Broad K, Hildebrand PE (2008) AgClimate: a case study in participatory decision support system development. Clim Change 87:385–403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carolan M (2006) Social change and the adoption and adaptation of knowledge claims: whose truth do you trust in regard to sustainable agriculture? Agr Human Values 23:325–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cash DW, Borck JC, Patt AG (2006) Countering the loading-dock approach to linking science and decision making: comparative analysis of El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) forecasting systems. Sci Tech Human Values 31:465–494CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Crane T, Roncoli C, Paz J, Breuer N, Ingram K, Hoogenboom G (2010) Forecast skill and farmers' skills: seasonal climate forecasts and agricultural risk managment in the southeastern United States. Wea Climate Soc 2(1):44–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Demiryurek K (2010) Analysis of information systems and communication networks for organic and conventional hazelnut producers in the Samsun province of Turkey. Agr Syst 103:444–452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dilling L, Lemos MC (2011) Creating usable science: opportunities and constraints for climate knowledge use and their implications for science policy. Global Environ Change 21:680–689CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fraisse CW, Breuer N, Bellow JG, Cabrera V, Hatch U, Hoogenboom G, Ingram K, Jones JW, O'Brian J, Paz J, Zierden D (2006) AgClimate: a climate forecast information system for agricultural risk management in the southeastern USA. Comput Electron Agric 53(1):13–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Frank E, Eakin H, Lopez-Carr D (2011) Social identity, perception and motivation in adaptation to climate risk in the coffee sector of Chiapas, Mexico. Global Environ Change 21:66–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Getz C (2008) Social capital, organic agriculture, and sustainable livelihood security: rethinking agrarian change in Mexico. Rural Sociol 73(4):555–579CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Goddard L, Mason SJ, Ropelewski CF, Basher R, Cane MA (2001) Current approaches to seasonal-to-annual climate predictions. IJCli 21:1111–1152Google Scholar
  13. Gray I, Dunn T, Phillips E (1997) Power, interests and the extension of sustainable agriculture. Soc Ruralis 37(1)Google Scholar
  14. Hansen JW, Hodges AW, Jones JW (1998) ENSO influences on agriculture in the southeastern United States. J Clim 11(404–411)Google Scholar
  15. Hansen JW, Mason SJ, Sun L, Tall A (2011) Review of seasonal climate forecasting for agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. Exp Agric 47:205–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hayman P, Crean J, Mullen J, Parton K (2007) How do probabilistic seasonal climate forecasts compare with other innovations that Australian farmers are encouraged to adopt? Aust J Agr Res 58:975CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hinrichs CC (2000) The embeddedness of local food systems: notes on two types of direct agricultural markets. J Rural Stud 16(3):295–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ingram J (2008) Are farmers in England equipped to meet the knowledge challenge of sustainable soil management? An analysis of farmer and advisor views. J Environ Manage 86:214–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Klopper E, Vogel CH, Landman WA (2006) Seasonal climate forecasts- potential agricultural-risk management tools? Clim Change 76:73–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kroma MM (2006) Organic farmer networks: facilitating learning and innovation for sustainable agriculture. J Sustainable Agric 28(4):5–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Meinke H, Stone RC (2005) Seasonal and inter-annual climate forecasting: the new tool for increasing preparedness to climate variability and change in agricultural planning and operations. Clim Change 70:221–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Morgan K, Murdoch J (2000) Organic vs. conventional agriculture: knowledge, power and innovation in the food chain. Geoforum 31:159–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sooby J (2003) State of the states: organic farming systems research at land grant institutions 2001–2003. Organic Farming Research Foundation, Santa Cruz, CAGoogle Scholar
  24. Tarnoczi TJ, Berkes F (2010) Sources of information for farmers' adaption practices in Canada's Prairie agro-ecosystem. Clim Change 98:299–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Trauger A, Sachs CE, Barbercheck M, Brasier K, Kiernan NE (2010) "Our market is our community": women farmers and civic agriculture in Pennsylvania, USA. Agr Human Values 27:43–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. USDA (2007) 2007 Census of AgricultureGoogle Scholar
  27. van de Fliert E (2002) Conceptualizing integrative, farmer participatory research for sustainable agriculture: from opportunities and impact. Agr Human Values 19:25–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wall E, Smit B (2005) Climate change adaptation in light of sustainable agriculture. J Sustainable Agric 27(1):113–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carrie Furman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carla Roncoli
    • 3
  • Todd Crane
    • 4
  • Gerrit Hoogenboom
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Biological and Agricultural EngineeringUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Department of AnthropologyEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  4. 4.Technology and Agrarian DevelopmentWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  5. 5.AgWeatherNet;Washington State UniversityProsserUSA

Personalised recommendations