The agricultural production sector is extremely dependent on weather conditions. From crop production to animal farming, farmers need favorable weather conditions to thrive. But the current effects of climate change are affecting the livelihood of millions of smallholder farmers. Extreme weather conditions like flood, drought, and heatwave, is slowly crushing the food production industry. The effects are not limited to only farmers but the entire world as food security is under threat.
One of the best ways to reduce the impact of climate change on agriculture is through accurate weather prediction. This will help farmers know when to expect rain for crop production and the best times to harvest. Technology has made this much easier with weather API. And technology students are working out several other best ways to solve the challenges climate change poses on the agriculture sector. So, let’s delve into how weather API can help farmers mitigate the effects of climate change.
Effects of climate change on Agriculture
Climate change is having devastating effects on the globe, especially in the agricultural sector. Rising temperatures, changes in precipitation, changes in pests and diseases, etc. are all having a tool on the sector. With unpredictable weather conditions, it is becoming very challenging for smallholder farmers to stay in business. Farmers are losing huge sums of money due to poor yields and pest control. This on a larger scale is affecting food security worldwide. Aside from disrupting food availability, climate change is also affecting food quality and prices. Available data shows that drought and heat damage result in an estimated 17 billion crop losses in the US alone. In 2019, the results of heavy flooding prevented the cultivation of over 19.4 million acres of farmland. The consequences of climate change are even direr in developing countries.
This is why scientists and tech students are stepping up their game in finding solutions to the effects of climate change on the Agric sector. Among such innovations is the introduction of tools that can help in easy weather forecasting to help farmers make informed decisions. One such tool is the weather API.
What is weather API?
A weather Application Programming Interface (API) allows developers to integrate weather data into a website or application. With it, the website or application can have limitless access to weather databases and services it is subscribed to. The weather API gives access to weather data including temperature, humidity, precipitation, the speed of the wind, and its direction, among others. It can also provide historical weather data and forecasts, for planning and decision-making purposes.
Developers can have access to a free weather API without key for building apps and sites for agriculture, transportation, business, and sectors that rely on real-time weather data for planning. Weather APIs have extreme benefits for the Agric sector. It can play an important role for farmers to lessen the effects of climate change on their businesses. Here is how:
Accurate weather predictions
One of the most important needs of every farmer is to know when to prepare the land and when to plant. We cannot do anything about erratic weather conditions. However, with a weather API, farmers can have access to accurate weather predictions, which can help them make informed decisions. With the provided information, farmers can know favorable periods to plant and when to expect extreme weather conditions. This will help them avoid such extreme conditions or use seeds that do well in such conditions. In the long run, it prevents losses that come with poor yields.
Helps in developing weather-resistant crops
The pattern of rainfall, temperature, humidity, and many other factors affect crop production. Weather APIs provide current and historical data on the state of the atmosphere. This helps crop scientists to develop new crop models, which can withstand current weather conditions. Farmers on the other hand can know what variety of crops to plant at any point in time.
Proper irrigation management
When farmers know when to and when not to expect rain, they can plan their irrigation schedules to suit it. Weather APIs provide forecasts on humidity, precipitation, and other data on things that can affect soil moisture. Farmers can rely on this information to plan irrigation schedules that reduce water waste while optimizing water usage.
Different weather conditions come with associated pest problems, which affect crop production. With a weather API, farmers can get information on when certain pests and diseases attack crops. This can help them in the timely application of pesticides to reduce the effects of pests and diseases.
Weather APIs when applied strategically can help farmers adapt to the negative impact of climate change. By providing accurate weather forecasts, APIs can help farmers to reduce poor yields and financial losses. This can be achieved through proper irrigation management, good pest, and disease control management, planting weather-resistant seeds, and heeding weather warnings among others. All that farmers need is to subscribe to a reliable API.