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CR 19:57-67 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/cr019057

User perspectives of climate forecasts: crop producers in Pergamino, Argentina

David Letson1,*, Ignacio Llovet2, Guillermo Podestá1, Fred Royce3, Victor Brescia4, Daniel Lema4, Gabriel Parellada4

1Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, Florida 33149-1098, USA
2Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad de Belgrano, Buenos Aires, Argentina
3Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Florida, PO Box 110570, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA
4Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, Instituto de Economía y Sociología Rural, Buenos Aires, Argentina

ABSTRACT: A necessary initial step in assessing the value of climate information for regional agriculture is to gauge user perceptions concerning the use of that information. We attempt to do so for cereal and oilseed production in Pergamino, Argentina, located in the Pampas, one of the world¹s major agricultural regions. A survey of 200 farmers identified climate forecast scale and the reliability of the source of forecast as critical obstacles to adoption. Users¹ incomplete knowledge of how El Niño-Southern Oscillation affects their region may also pose an obstacle to greater use of climate information. A related problem is that users sometimes confuse the different time scales of weather and climate forecasting. Research and outreach to downscaling forecasts temporally and spatially toward user communities would help close the gap of expectations between forecast user and provider, and would facilitate the trust building process between the two that must precede adoption.

KEY WORDS: Climate information · Attitudes · ENSO · Agriculture

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