7 News Belize

The Weather And The Farmer
posted (June 13, 2017)
When there are heavy rains and flooding the first thing people think about is protecting their belongings from water damage. And when there is intense heat during the dry season, all anyone wants to do is to keep cool and hydrated. But beyond your personal comfort zone, these extreme weather conditions impact the operations and output in several sectors especially agriculture. So there is certainly a lot more to consider when it comes to the weather. That was the center of discussion at a Climate Change Forum held today at the George Price Center in Belmopan. Courtney Weatherburne has more details.

Issac Dueck, Spanish Lookout Farmer
"I had a whole crop of Red Kidney Beans completely destroyed because of not enough rain just simply drought, it just didn't rain and some other crops, very poor crops because not enough rain and also too much rain so I had both experiences and that is devastating."

Courtney Weatherburne reporting
And in order to avoid that level of damage and loss, Climatologists held their 5th annual Climate Change conference to inform farmers and other stakeholders about the impact of upcoming weather patterns:

Ronald Gordon, Climatologist
"The idea behind the forum is to get our stakeholders, people in agricultural, tourism and energy sectors to discuss the climate for the next couple of months, we are going to focus on rainfall and seasonal outlook for June, July, August and September, October, November which is primarily our rainy season and our hurricane season so we are going to see whether the forecast is for normal, below normal or above normal rainfall for the season and we will have a discussion with our stakeholders on how will that forecast and what will be the implications for that specific sector."

"In terms of the prediction for the next couple of months June through to July and August we are looking at slightly above normal rainfall, rainfall for this time for year typically range between about 500 millimeters in the North to about 1500 millimeters in the South so expecting just about that amount for this next couple of months and then we are looking at the September, October, November period its going to be more than quite above normal for that period that's what the predictions are showing in terms of our temperatures we are looking at higher than normal temperatures at night so our nights will be warmer and also our daytime temperatures should be a bit warmer."

And that is exactly the type of information farmers need to ensure their crops flourish.

Issac Dueck, Spanish Lookout Farmer
"It is a new thing that we are doing here with this forum, but it help us to look forward and really check to see if we should plant and when we should plant."

"Some crops when we need to harvest you can't have too much rain."

Courtney Weatherburne
"Crops like Soybean?"

Issac Dueck, Spanish Lookout Farmer
"Soybean and corn as well."

Those in the energy sector will also benefit from these discussions as their operations and the services they provide to citizens depends to some extent on the weather.

Khadijah Usher, BEL, Energy Supply Department
"Energy is one of the lately added pillars of climatology both at the regional and national plays, and climate plays a very important role in energy in terms of our renewable energy both the biomass and of course the reservoirs and out dam reservoirs and it is important to stay abreast with the weather situation."

"Any form of extremities would be very bad so if we have a lot of rain we pose the possibility of spilling if we have too little we pose the possibility the dam being drier than we want."

Courtney Weatherburne
"And how does that impact, what is the chain reaction in terms of that."

Khadijah Usher, BEL, Energy Supply Department
"Well it is directly related to the generation of electricity basically."

Representatives from health and tourism among others were also there for the one day event.

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