Can we manage long-term climate variability in dryland cropping systems

Wed, Jan 21, 12:00 pm
126 EPS (Engineering and Physical Sciences) MSU
Speaker Name: 
Perry Miller
Montana State University - Bozeman
Land Resources and Environmental Sciences

Can we manage long-term climate variability in dryland cropping systems: Dryland farmers in the northern Plains live by the weather; rainfall in particular. They tell you in ‘hundredths’ how much rain they’ve gotten from each event; conversely some stores in rural towns don’t even sell rain gauges because it’s too depressing. Rain is everything for farmers. Usually they’re worried about too little, but too much can be as big a problem. Ranchers care about temperature too. Rain creates possibility. Knowledge about variation in rainfall has value on all time scales, especially in summer, but if we could tip the odds even to 2:1 or better in guessing between multi-year drier and wetter than average cycles, that could have very significant production value for making investment decisions from fertilizer rates, to crop rotation planning and specialized equipment purchases, to multi-year land lease arrangements.

Perry Miller is a Professor of Sustainable Cropping Systems in the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences at Montana State University – conducting diversified dryland cropping systems research there since 1998. His research focuses on systems-level water and nitrogen budgets in diversified wheat-based farming systems. Specific research emphases include no-till and organic cropping systems, pulse crop ecology, winter dicot crops, cover crops, crop energy budgets, and best management practices for greenhouse gas mitigation. Jack of all, master of none.

Sandra Cavalieri


MSU IoE Office

Montana State University
605 Leon Johnson Hall
Bozeman, MT 59717
(406) 994-2374
MSU Director: Cathy Whitlock

UM IoE Office

The Universityi of Montana

The University of Montana
Davidson Honors College
Missoula, MT 59812
(406) 243-4848
UM Director: Ric Hauer

Montana EPSCoR

Program Director:  Ray Callaway
Project Administrator: Todd Kipfer
University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812
(406) 243-2617

Montana University System

Montana University System

Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education
2500 Broadway Street
Helena, MT 59620