Outcomes

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We are iteratively co-designing the prototype service with CDE and NFU farmers, through questions in farm interviews, our online/postal survey, and by gathering feedback on the forecasts we provide. We also intend to send out a brief survey on graphics and presentation to help make our prototype clearer and more relevant, and hope to hold a workshop with farmers in either December 2015 or January 2016.

For last winter (2014/2015), we worked with a small group of farmers to refine three month forecasts for Devon, which were sent out via email and post. For the coming winter (2015/2016), we are working with a larger group of farmers (~20) across South West UK, and are providing forecasts through our website in the first instance. We are working on providing the forecasts via an app, and hope to provide this early in January 2016. The forecasts will include both a 14 day outlook, to give more detailed short-range information, and a 3 month outlook for the longer-term picture. The 14 day forecasts will be updated every 6 hours, while the 3 month outlooks are updated at the end of each month. The forecasts can be accessed here (login required): http://lmtool.predictia.es/en/content/euporias-lmtool-forecasts-south-west-england

A group of six undergraduate Natural Sciences students from the University of Exeter worked on a winter-term project linked to the EUPORIAS land management prototype. Their work involved forecast assessment and finding ways to improve the relevance and usability of seasonal forecasts for farmers. They have produced a set of brochures for three counties in South West UK which contain their results, and a YouTube video which summarises the project. We hope to be able to use their work in further developing and improving the three month outlooks provided by LMTool.

Working closely with CDE, the project team issued draft forecasts to a small group of farmers in Devon during autumn/winter 2014-2015. Six forecasts were issued, one at the end of each month from October to February, each giving a three-month outlook for temperature and precipitation downscaled to Devon from the UK Contingency Planners Forecasts (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/publicsector/contingency-planners) provided by the Met Office.

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LMTool provides seasonal winter weather forecasts (1-3 months ahead) in support of decision making on cover crop planting, choice and management.