A new El Nino has already had an impact on crops across the United States in 2015. Now scientists are saying the weather phenomenon is continuing to build and could play an even bigger role in the agricultural outlook for the remainder of this year and into 2016.
The next webinar in the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture’s Food and Agribusiness Series will examine the current El Nino, which some have begun calling a “Super El Nino,” and what it could mean for agriculture in different parts of the U.S. The webinar will be held at 11 a.m. central time on July 28.
Speakers for the webinar, which will be titled "Global Impacts of El Nino on Agriculture,” will be Mark Brusberg, deputy chief meteorologist and Brian Morris, meteorologist, in USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist. Mark is USDA’s expert on South America and Brian is USDA’s expert on Asia.
“We talked to Mark Brusberg this afternoon (July 23), and he had just received the latest El Nino report,” said Bobby Coats, professor of agricultural economics with the University of Arkansas and moderator for the U of A Webinar Series. “He says the disturbance is building, and it appears it will have major impact.”
To register for the webinar, click on https://uaex.zoom.us/webinar/register/699fa1e27d8c5815d746f627e8486654.
El Nino and La Nina are terms used to describe weather phenomenon that occur when water temperatures near the Equator in the Pacific Ocean are warmer or cooler than normal. The impact of the phenomenon often is not felt equally across the U.S.
In recent months, rainfall has increased significantly in Texas and Oklahoma and the Midwest states while weather in the southern United States has been unusually dry. California and Arizona have continued to suffer through one of the worst droughts in their histories.
As deputy chief meteorologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Chief Economist, Mark Brusberg is one of five agricultural meteorologists providing domestic and international crop weather assessments in support of USDA’s global situation and outlook program.
As such, he is familiar with the weather and climate of various international regions, global cropping patterns and the potential impacts on agriculture by El Niño and other phenomena. As a crop weather analyst, his current areas of responsibility include South America and large sections of North America and Africa.
Brusberg is the International editor of the Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin and is involved in the production of the North American Drought Monitor. He is also active in efforts to strengthen the partnerships between USDA and other Federal Departments.
He recently worked on the updating of the Memorandum of Understanding between USDA and NOAA and involvement with the National Drought Resilience Partnership, an activity outlined in the President’s Climate Action Plan and overseen by the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Of particular note, he has been a strong advocate within USDA for the establishment of a National Soil Moisture Monitoring Network. Mark is a 1985 and 1987 graduate of University of Maryland and has been working for USDA since 1986.
Brian Morris is a senior meteorologist with the USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) located in the Office of the Chief Economist. His expertise is in weather- and climate-related crop production impacts across eastern and southern Asia, with special focus on rice and cotton.
He joined the WAOB in 1999, previously having worked as a meteorologist in the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center for six years. All told, Morris has nearly 25 years of experience in climate, weather, and crop analysis. In this time, he has authored research papers on utilizing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to examine geospatial impacts of climate and weather on agricultural production in various regions of the globe.
In addition, Mr. Morris is the production manager and contributing author to the Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin and served as an adjunct instructor with the Graduate School USA, where he taught Introduction to meteorology.
For more information on the webinar series, contact Dr. Coats [email protected].