This Weeks Ag In the Classroom--The Crazy Oklahoma Weather!Thu, 16 Jul 2020 07:58:44 CDT
Summertime is here and the kiddos are out of school with many parents are at home with their kiddos, wondering, "What do we do now?" Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom has come up with some excellent daily activities you can do with your kids and family.
Today we are featuring Oklahoma's Crazy Weather! Drought, thunderstorms, heat, and wind! Oklahoma weather can change in a heartbeat! Farmers and ranchers live by the weather. Crops need water and sunlight, and farm animals need to eat those plants. The amount of rain that falls in a year is probably the most important weather-related factor for farmers and ranchers. Severe weather conditions can be a factor as well. If rainfall is low or if hail or tornadoes damage crops,
the crop yields will be low, creating a shortage of product. When there is a shortage of product, the price goes up. Animals have to eat, and feed comes from crops. When crop yields are low it becomes more expensive to feed the livestock. The more expensive it is to feed livestock, the more expensive it becomes for the consumer to purchase the meat. This classic example of supply and demand all starts with the weather. When there is adequate rainfall, there is more grass for cattle and other livestock and less need for supplementary feed. Crops are more successful, making feed that is needed less expensive. Livestock is healthier, and meat is less expensive at the grocery store.
It is not just local weather that affects local agriculture. Drought in other parts of the country affect local agriculture as well. If crops in California are sparse because of drought, livestock owners may have to buy feed from farmers as far away as Oklahoma. Because feed back in California is scarce, the California ranchers will pay higher prices. This higher demand for Oklahoma-grown feed means livestock producers in Oklahoma have to pay high prices as well. Everyone talks about the weather, but no one can do anything about it, as the saying goes. But producers can take steps to prepare for bad weather. In Oklahoma they start by consulting the Oklahoma Mesonet, a worldclass network of environmental monitoring stations. There is at least one monitoring station in each of Oklahoma’s 77 counties, with a total of 120 stations. All kinds of information is gathered from the monitoring stations every five minutes and transmitted back to the main facility located on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman. When the data is received, it is analyzed and made available to the public within 10 minutes. Data includes current temperatures, rainfall, wind speeds, humidity, wildfire danger levels and weather predictions.
To learn more about Oklahoma Weather, talk about the Ag Career of Meteorologist, download cause and effect charts, and more fun Weather Activities with Ag in the Classroom, click here:
Use the Oklahoma Mesonet to find all the statistics about Oklahoma weather.
And don't forget, Ag in the Classroom offers daily activities to do with your kiddos on their website, and their facebook page.
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