Detailed agricultural weather information that can be customized to a horse farm's exact location is just one of the pieces of information available to Kentucky horse owners through the University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture Weather Center.
According to Tom Priddy, extension/research agricultural meteorologist and UK Ag Weather Center director, this is the only extension ag weather center in the nation.
Horse owners can access information that includes current conditions, forecasts, outlooks, drought or severe information, hydrology (water) information, precipitation frequency, or seasonal updates by visiting http://weather.uky.edu/. For mobile users, the UK Ag Weather Center can be accessed via http://weather.uky.edu/pda.shtml.
Formed by Priddy in 1977, the UK Ag Weather Center is a full-service agricultural weather center.
"We provide all facets of weather and climate information, research, and educational services to Kentucky," Priddy said. "This includes weather and climate data (i.e., rainfall amounts, weather models, and weather and climate-related news stories). We also provide information and products to other land-grant universities and local county extension agents across the nation in real-time."
According to Priddy, the UK Ag Weather Center's mission is to provide agricultural weather services, products, and educational resources that will minimize weather-related surprises for Kentucky residents
with agricultural needs. The site's weather information is provided by the National Weather Service, the National Climatic Center, the Midwest Regional Center, and various information generated by Ag Weather Center staff using the center's Geographic Information System.
Resources Priddy suggests for horse owners and riders include:
- Farm/ranch precision agriculture, lawn, and garden point forecast
- Insect degree day forecast models
- Timely rainfall departure maps (updated daily for various time-periods)
- Kentucky Mesonet data per county
- County-by-county drought information, updated weekly
- Weather for the Kentucky Crop and Weather Report
- The center's new Ag Weather on the Go--weather service on your cell phone
Holly Wiemers, MS, is communications director for UK's Equine Initiative.
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Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.