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The latest in agricultural insights from a USDA-ARS and University sponsored long-term agoecological research site site. We specialize in the dryland farming region of the inland pacific northwest.

Our data manager was reading the internet one day and found a little post about how many ‘pleasant weather days’ there are across the country. After we discussed it a bit, we kept returning to the question of what constitutes a ‘pleasant day’ and how the total number of days has changed over the years. After asking a few friends their opinions, I can safely report that everyone ...

Fourth of July is a big holiday in the US and generally, a big outdoor holiday with parades, barbeques, concerts, and, of course, fireworks! Similar to the Memorial Day post, I thought it would be a good idea to take a quick look at the climatology for the 4th in Pullman. Data about general cloudiness is not easy to come by so there will not be any discussion about ‘cloudiness’ here. It is safe to assume that days with rain are also generally cloudy but data used here does not have any indications of general cloudiness. As such, the focus will be on precipitation and on temperature. I promise I do more than just look at Pullman’s temperature and climate data!

This really should be been written before this week but the author didn’t think to write this until now. Memorial Day and the end of May marks a turn in the weather as we make the turn toward the summer heat and into the dry season in the inland Pacific Northwest. Growing up, my parents would say that Memorial Day was always a rainy day. This got me thinking (always dangerous) ...

During the previous DataCAFe, PhD candidate Milica Radanovic lead a discussion on her thesis work while fending off rabid committee members and lively collaborators. A summary of her thesis, in her words, is below. Environmental impacts on the nitrogen cycle as a physical process creating or depleting pools of reactive nitrogen in soil has been greatly explored. A general unde ...

For those not in Pullman, early April was an eventful time for us, a lot of rain and even some flooding! For us weather nerds (i.e., the author), these types of events are fun and not fun at the same time. They are fun because they provide interesting data and neat pictures but not fun because of the damage they can cause. A more detailed write-up of the events that caused the ...

Research is becoming increasingly more reliant on computational workflows, such as combining diverse datasets, processing big data, running computational models, and organizing information across geographically dispersed and interdisciplinary teams. Because the scientific process is anchored on reproducibility and peer review, funding organizations and journals have adjusted th ...

During CAF LTAR's DataCAFe, Dr. Eric Russell led a discussion on working with data from different sources and ways to avoid issues. He used his experience working with 18 LTAR sites as a way to illustrate his points. His write up is below. As a co-lead processing eddy covariance (EC) data for an active working group within LTAR, the division between those who are familiar with ...

During CAF LTAR's DataCAFe, Qiuping (Ellen) Peng led a discussion on different methods of calculating mean residence time (MRT) of soil organic matter. After much discussion and merriment, Ellen then tried to steer the crowd towards a discussion on how to relate MRT to flux data from EC towers. Her write up is below. Understanding the turnover rate of soil organic carbon (SOC) ...

Deciding whether or not to plant a spring crop is a difficult decision.  A spring crop could bring in some much needed revenue and help reduce soil erosion, but could also deplete soil moisture. A critical reduction in soil moisture could ultimately impact winter wheat yields.  To add more tools to your decision making tool-belt, we've generated a few maps to help you make that ...