A notice, received via e-mail, from the Caribbean Agro-Meteorological Initiative (CAMI):

The Caribbean Agrometeorological Initiative is about to launch its e-forum inviting meteorologists, farmers and agricultural extension officers, and scientists to discuss issues relating to weather, climate and agriculture, leading up to the next round of farmers’ forums. Many of the topics/issues to be discussed arose during the previous round of forums. For this e-forum it was decided not to start with the climate aspect everyone expects – that is, something rainfall related. We will actually begin our e-Forum with a discussion on temperature – a weather parameter that does not vary that much in the Caribbean context, but based on recent events and observations, may be more significant than many believe.

At last year’s farmers’ forums it was illustrated how much of 2010 and 2011 temperatures were above normal. From 2011 CIMH began providing 3 to 6 month outlook information on air temperature based on outputs from Global models. It was illustrated how these above normal temperatures were predicted and did come to fruition. At two of the forums – in Barbados and in Mandeville Jamaica – on illustrating some of the forecast output and the reality of above normal air temperatures, farmers in these two forums indicated major flower drop/abscission resulting in significant losses in yield of some crop (tomatoes being one of them). The questions for the forum are:

1. Was this experienced by other farmers across the Caribbean?

2. Had you known of the forecasts, was there anything you might have done differently? If so, what?

[You are invited] to be a part of this forum, as we seek to make weather and climate more meaningful to agricultural activity in the region.

For further details about the forum and how to participate, contact Adrian Trotman of the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology. There is more information about CAMI at the project website:

The objective of the programme is to increase and sustain agricultural productivity at the farm level in the Caribbean region through improved dissemination and application of weather and climate information using an integrated and coordinated approach. The results are expected to benefit the farming community in the Caribbean Region

The project is expected to assist the farming community in the Caribbean region through provision of information through the regional network of Meteorological and Agricultural Services and research institutes on predictors of the rainy season potential and development of effective pest and disease forecasting systems for improved on-farm management decisions; preparation and wide diffusion of a user-friendly weather and climate information newsletter and organization of forums with the farming community and agricultural extension agencies to promote a better understanding of the applications of weather and climate information and to obtain feedback to provide better products from the meteorological services for use by the farming community.

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