Like so many other farmers, Jeff Miller of Prairie Wind Family Farm in Grayslake, Ill., has found that increasingly extreme and unpredictable weather is making it harder to grow crops consistently and, ultimately, to run a viable business. For example, heavier and more frequent rains during the growing season cause increased weed and disease pressure on his 40-acre vegetable farm and crop failure due to flooding.
In an attempt to adapt to this new reality, Miller used a SARE Farmer/Rancher grant to introduce drone imagery and weather station data to better assess the impacts of extreme weather on his fields and crops and to inform his responses. Miller is now using these tools to improve in-season management, such as the timing of tillage, cultivation and irrigation, and off-season planning, such as modifying crop rotations based on how individual fields respond to extreme rain patterns.
Want more information? See the related SARE grant: