Free Tools Not in a Box; Climate Predictions, AG Data, Cost Share and Funding

The first tool is you.

Florida has already seen multiple tornadoes, thunderstorms, and periods of high winds with heavy downpours of rain and hail. Have prepared hurricane and first aid kit ready to grab and know your safe place where all family members will take immediate shelter with the kits, to ride out. To keep a watch on the tropics and your local weather. The NOAA National Hurricane Center is the place to monitor tropical weather developments. The site provides a more detailed explanation of how El Nino impacts the climate and a plethora of other weather-related predictions.


The second tool

is the University of Florida’s statewide weather network, Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN). Since its conception in 1997, the FAWN database and website have been maintained in Gainesville and managed by Project Manager Rick Lusher. Currently, 47 solar-powered stations collect weather data and transmit it to a computer in Gainesville every (15) minutes. The stations measure temperatures at two, six, and 30 feet above ground. It also measures soil temperatures, wind speed and direction, rainfall, relative humidity, barometric pressure, leaf wetness, and solar radiation. This system provides reliable climate predictions three to six months in advance so they can plan and protect field crops, by determining starting/stopping jobs, planning purchases of building materials seeding, it’s unlimited who could utilize this data. Historical data charts are available upon request. Check out or email Rick at to receive weekly weather reports.


The third tool

is the largest database for agricultural production and related information. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), is a division under the umbrella of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). NASS database is used to help policymakers and farmers make informed decisions about crop production, marketing, and many other aspects of agriculture. The information collection periods are weekly, monthly, bimonthly, and any chemical information is collected annually. An impressive data bank, the NASS is the best possible agriculture resource on every state in the U.S. All weekly survey data is compiled, then posted on the NASS site and is utilized all over the country. The information and availability are priceless at and for (16) other sister agencies of USDA with agricultural-related data.


The fourth tool

is agencies that can provide funding after disasters and special projects. Some agencies but not limited to include the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), the USDA’s Natural Resource and Conservation Service (NRCS), the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and your local Farm Bureau.




repeating the first tool, your proactive involved attending meetings, trainings, workshops, and field days, as well as proactive memberships are tools. Also, keep in contact with your local extension office. They are a wealth of information and resources to assist you in getting answers.


Posted: July 20, 2023


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