The focus of my research is to help agricultural related decision makers increase the efficiency of using climate information through the development and/or improvement of user-friendly, scientifically robust decision support tools. To accomplish this, I work on
- developing a better understanding of crop response to climate variability and change under rainfed and irrigated conditions;
- optimizing management practices for a given crop, location and irrigation system using crop models, weather/seasonal-climate forecasts, and climate projections;
- developing/improving crop models and decision support toolkits for improving crop production;
- developing methods to link and couple climate and crop models to improve stakeholder's decision making.
To perform these tasks, I use integrated system approaches combining field research with simulation modeling and validation to ensure the widest possible extrapolation of results.
Advanced information technologies such as dynamic, statistic and stochastic computer simulation models, decision support systems, and GIS are critical components of my program. Current projects I'm developing under my national and international programs includes
- development of CropClimate*,
- looking for climate change adaptation in agriculture from local through regional and to global scales,
- development of stochastic downscaling methods for applications on climate variability, climate change and filling missing values.
Currently, I have specific projects within the U.S. at Nebraska, Florida, Alabama, Georgia. CropClimate runs for all the United States territories at the sub-county level. My international program currently involves India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Peru, and I'm looking of increasing my research to Brazil, Mexico, and Ethiopia (proposals pending) as well as trying to incorporate other countries in Africa and Asia.
* CropClimate, is an initiative from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln that will produce climate-related, useful information for agricultural decision makers within the U.S. at scales finer than county level and is expected to be released in the next few months. CropClimate uses state-of-the-art knowledge in climate-, soil-, and crop-modeling to link the effects of environmental conditions and management (i.e. irrigation, fertilization) in the growth and the development of crops. Based on this climatic and agronomic information; farmers, lenders, agrochemical companies, and others can tailor their management and services according to the forthcoming seasonal climate forecast. A huge component of CropClimate is our extension team, who translates and transfers the cutting edge scientific knowledge in terms that users can benefit from. CropClimate is based on dynamic crop modeling that represents our current understanding of plant biology and its interactions with the environment at plant and plot scales. Supported by our detailed climate and soil databases and its modeling team, CropClimate explores crop modeling capabilities to improve field management of food, fiber and fuel crops for more sustainable production systems.