Monday, September 22, 2014

Southeastern Climate Consortium


Project Overview

In Florida, 9.25 million acres are planted for agricultural use every year. Crops planted include everything from peaches to strawberries to potatoes to peanuts. They’re a central part of Florida’s economy and the nation’s food supply system.

The mission of SECC is to use advances in climate sciences, including improved capabilities to forecast seasonal climate and long-term climate change, to provide scientifically sound information and decision support tools for stakeholders in the Southeast. As a multidisciplinary team, the SECC conducts research and outreach to a broad community of potential users and forms partnerships with extension and education organizations to ensure that SECC products are relevant and reliable.

The goal of SECC's work is to contribute to an improved quality of life, increased profitability, decreased economic risks, and more ecologically sustainable management of agriculture, forestry, and water resources.


Select Outputs

  • In Florida, 9.25 million acres are planted for agricultural use every year. Crops planted include everything from peaches to potatoes to peanuts. They’re a central part of Florida’s economy and the nation’s food supply system. With that in mind, SECC has created a suite of online tools known as AgroClimate. The site harvests climate data and forecasts from a variety of sources and translates it into terms that farmers can use to make decisions. For example, one tool on AgroClimate is the Strawberry Advisory System (SAS). Using temperature, humidity, and precipitation data from local weather stations, SAS provides recommendations to farmers on whether to use fungicides to control for certain diseases. After four seasons of testing, results show farmers can reduce fungicides applications by half, resulting in a savings of up to $400 per acre. More information about SAS is available here (pdf).

  • SECC research has been to establishing a program that helps farmers build on-farm reservoirs to store water from the winter for the summer growing season. The program run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is called the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP). SECC's research on climate variability in the region helped the program come to life, and SECC researchers have engaged with farmers in Alabama to explain the financial and ecological benefits of on-site reservoirs.So far, 23 farmers in Alabama have signed up to build on-site reservoirs and have received $1.5 million in support from AWEP.


Decision Support Tools

  • AgroClimate: An interactive web-based set of tools for use by decision makers working in the agriculture, ranching, and forestry sectors. Each tool links climate data and forecasts to actions decision makers can take in each of these sectors.

  • Monthly Climate Summaries: Monthly summaries of rainfall, temperature, severe weather, ENSO phase, and any hazardous weather. The report also pulls drought information from the U.S Drought Portal and discusses their implications for agriculture.


Other Resources

  • Presentation Database: A collection of recent presentations and made at conferences, workshops, and annual meetings by SECC researchers. Some presentations are available for download as PDFs.

  • Publication Database: A collections of a books, peer-reviewed articles, technical reports, fact sheets, white papers, theses and more by SECC researchers and students searchable by date, title, author, and content type.

  • SECC on FacebookA Facebook Page to connect with SECC stakeholders and interested parties. Regularly updated with items from and about SECC.

Principal Investigators

James Jones 
James O'Brien

Program Manager

Keith Ingram

Co-Investigators

Senthold Asseng
Ryan Boyles
John Christy
Clyde Fraisse
David Letson
Vasubandhu Mishra
Puneet Srivastava
Scott Templeton
George Vellidis
Gail Wilkserson

Affiliated Institutions

Auburn University
Clemson University
Florida State University
North Carolina State University
University of Alabama, Huntsville
University of Florida
University of Georgia
University of Miami

Dates Funded

1998-present

Project Website