Agrometeorology deals with the interactions between meteorological and hydrological factors, on the one hand, and agriculture in the widest sense, including horticulture, animal husbandry and forestry, on the other. Its goal is to study and define such interactions, and then to apply knowledge of the atmosphere to practical agricultural use.
Despite the impressive advances in agricultural technology over the last few decades, agricultural production remains dependent on weather and climate. It is a clear reality that climatic variability will play an even greater role than in the past, as sufficient food supplies will not be available to feed the world population adequately at its present rate of increase, unless agricultural technology is improved, natural resources are more efficiently used and decision makers are provided with up-to-date information on crop conditions.
The major role of modern agrometeorology is to ensure that data, tools and knowledge are available to researchers, planners, and farmers to cope with a variety of weather and climate-related problems in agricultural production. This book is an important contribution in this direction and it follows the philosophy of the Environment and Natural Resources Service to provide practical tools for helping the farming community; it illustrates that the interaction between agriculturalists and meteorologists can be very fruitful if respective disciplines understand their partners' needs and limitations.
Economics play an important part in any productive activity such as agriculture. In this book, various frost protection methods and associated risks are analysed from an economic point of view. National Agrometeorological Services and Extension Services will draw clear benefits from the use of simple computer applications that are provided to advise their customers on reducing losses and stabilizing their returns. Frost protection advice can constitute a valuable source of income for National Agrometeorological Services in developing countries.
Dietrich E. Leihner
Research, Extension and Training Division
Food and Agriculture Organizaton of the United Nations