Tue, Dec 15, 2020
9:00am to 9:50am
The science of weather prediction is rapidly advancing. New computing technologies, high-resolution satellite imagery, and increased weather observations are increasing our ability to manage in-season weather risk. Yet weather prediction has its limits, and as we chase yields and profitability, fluctuations in weather during the growing season force growers to constantly adjust their strategies. In this talk, we will discuss the dominant weather factors that cause yield variance across the cornbelt. We will first focus on low-frequency, high impact events like hail, wind, and tornado damage before discussing broader threats from flood and drought. We will discuss weather patterns that lead to high yields and also discuss the patterns that impact operations and reduce yield. We will discuss long term changes in the length of the growing season, total precipitation, and precipitation intensity. We will discuss the limits of predictability and learn about pre-season indicators of adverse weather conditions. Finally, we will discuss the South American growing season and its potential production over the next decade.
Eric Snodgrass is a Science Fellow and Principal Atmospheric Scientist for Nutrien Ag Solutions, where he develops predictive, analytical software solutions to manage weather risk for global production agriculture. He provides frequent weather updates that focus on how high-impact weather events influence global agriculture productivity. His current research uses machine learning to better understand field-level weather impacts on yields in the US and to increase confidence in long-range weather prediction. He presents his research as a featured speaker at over 120 conferences annually where he provides logistical guidance and solutions to weather sensitive financial institutions, farmers, commodity traders, and other stakeholders. Snodgrass is a co-founder of Global Weather and Climate Logistic, LLC and Agrible, Inc which were both acquired by Nutrien Ag Solutions in 2018.
Before transitioning to Nutrien Ag Solutions, Eric was the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 2006-2019. Each year, he guided over 1800 students through the wild side of weather in ATMS 120: Severe and Hazardous Weather. He taught advanced courses on General Physical Meteorology, Meteorological Instrumentation, while routinely guest lectured for multiple disciplines across campus including the College of Law and the College of Agricultural and Consumer Economics. He also supervised dozens Capstone Research projects that focused on the economic impacts through applied meteorology and seasonal prediction. Snodgrass also taught advanced courses for the Environmental Sustainability Program on Renewable and Alternative Energy . He advised all undergraduate majors and minors in atmospheric science (~100 students) and supervised graduate teaching assistants and master’s students. He won many prestigious teaching awards at the University of Illinois including College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Teaching Excellence award, the Campus Teaching Excellence Award and the Campus Teaching Excellent Award in Online and Distance Education. His online version of ATMS 120 was awarded the 2012 "Best Online Course" from the University Professional Continuing Education Association (a national organization). Eric currently serves as the chair of the Alumni Council for the Department of Atmospheric Science’s at the University of Illinois.