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Corn Growing Degree DayDST

30-year historical perspective and climatology-based projections.


FREE online tool that uses real-time tracking to project corn growth.
  • Identify likelihood of early and late frosts/freezes
  • Estimate corn growth stages such as Silking and Black Layer dates
  • Improve accuracy when considering forward pricing and crop insurance purchases

What's new with Corn GDDDST:

  • Suggested analog years help you identify historical scenarios that most closely match this year's conditions.  
  • You can now display up to three historical comparison years.
  • Default GDD start date is now aligned with the earliest allowed planting date for crop insurance (by county).
  • You now have the ability to customize silking and black layer GDD requirements.

Need help navigating Corn GDDDST? Check out the Corn GDDDSTUser Guide.

Would you like to test drive new product features or new tools before they're available to the public?  Sign up to become a tool tester .

Tool Tips and Updates tool

Did you know...

You can remove variables from any DST graph by clicking the corresponding item in the legend. To add a variable back to the graph, just click on the legend item again. The tool will automatically refresh to add/remove lines from the graph.



Upcoming Events upcoming

Indiana Association of Professional Crop Consultants (IAPCC)

March 17, 2015 | Lafayette, IN


Hans Schmitz will be speaking at the IAPCC meeting about the U2U Corn Split NDST and other U2U products.

Climate Prediction Applications Science Workshop (CPASW)

March 24-26, 2015 | Las Cruces, NM


Tonya Haigh will be presenting research at CPASW on the importance of climate in agricultural decisions about risk management and adaptions. Find more information about CPASW at


Association of American Geographers (AAG)

April 21-25, 2015 | Chicago, IL


The U2U team will be hosting a special session at the AAG annual meeting titled "Usable Climate Information for Agriculture." This session will feature results from our social science research, an overview of new U2U decision tools, and information about our project evaluation methodology. Learn more at


AgriClimate Connection agriclimate
AgriClimate Connection is an interactive blog where farmers and scientists across the Corn Belt can learn about and discuss cutting-edge farm management strategies, weather and climate conditions, and much more. It is jointly-managed by and U2U.

Recent Posts:

Cover Crops and Climate Change: The Value of Modeling

Posted on 2/18/2015 by Andrea Basche

I am using a modeling approach to answer questions about the ability of cover crops to mitigate climate risks, as described in a recent video produced in collaboration with ...Read more


2014 - Warmest Year on Record for World, 15th Coldest for Corn Belt

Posted on 1/26/2015 by Jim Angel

The year 2014 was considered the warmest year on record for the world, according to three different sources (Japan, NASA, and NOAA). Meanwhile, the Corn Belt experienced...Read more


November - December Temperature Swings

Posted on 1/2/2015 by Dennis Todey

The late cold snap in December changed what could have been a rather historic situation, one where average December temperatures were actually warmer than November...Read more


Be sure to subscribe to our blog for the latest updates.  

Reaching Out reaching

Educational Resources


The U2U team has developed a number of educational materials that can help you quickly learn about our ag-climate decision support tools and let you easily share this information with others. Are you interested in receiving a pre-loaded USB drive with these resources (PowerPoints, User Guides, Fact Sheets, etc.)? If so, please provide your contact information at




Lessons Learned about Selling Conservation | January 2015


Dr. Linda Prokopy provides a review of research on farmer's adoption of conservation behavior and provides examples of how the U2U project is using social science to improve decision support tool design, uptake and evaluation.


View webinar | Slides only (pdf)


New Article in Climatic Change

Prokopy, L.S., J.S. Carlton,  J.G. Arbuckle, T. Haigh, M.C. Lemos, A.S. Mase, N. Babin, M. Dunn, J. Andresen, J. Angel, C. Hart, and R. Power
2015. "Extension's Role in Disseminating Information about Climate Change to Agricultural Stakeholders in the United States."

Climatic Change,DOI 10.1007/s10584-015-1339-9.




The U.S. Cooperative Extension Service was created 100 years ago to serve as a boundary or interface organization between science generated at the nation's land grant universities and rural communities. Production agriculture in the US is becoming increasingly complex and challenging in the face of a rapidly changing climate and the need to balance growing crop productivity with environmental protection. Simultaneously, extension budgets are diminishing and extension personnel are stretched thin with numerous, diverse stakeholders and decreasing budgets. Evidence from surveys of farmers suggests that they are more likely to go to private retailers and consultants for information than extension. 

This paper explores the role that extension can play in facilitating climate change adaptation in agriculture using data from a survey of agricultural advisors in Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Nebraska and a survey of extension educators in the 12 state North Central Region. Evidence from these surveys shows that a majority of extension educators believe that climate change is happening and that they should help farmers prepare. It also shows that private agricultural advisors trust extension as a source of information about climate change. This suggests that extension needs to continue to foster its relationship with private information providers because working through them will be the best way to ultimately reach farmers with climate change information. However extension educators must be better informed and trained about climate change; university specialists and researchers can play a critical role in this training process. 


Access full article

New Article in Weather, Climate, and Society

Haigh, T., L.W. Morton, M.C. Lemos, C. Knutson, L.S. Prokopy, Y.J. Lo, and J. Angel.  2015. "Agricultural Advisors as Climate Information Intermediaries: Exploring Differences in Capacity to Communicate Climate."  Weather, Climate, and Society . 7(1): 83-93.




Although agricultural production faces chronic stress associated with extreme precipitation events, high temperatures, drought, and shifts in climate conditions, adoption of climate information into agricultural decision making has been relatively limited. 


Agricultural advisors have been shown to play important roles as information intermediaries between scientists and farmers, brokering, translating, and adding value to agronomic and economic information of use in agricultural management decision making. Yet little is known about the readiness of different types of agricultural advisors to use weather and climate information to help their clients manage risk under increasing climate uncertainty. 


More than 1700 agricultural advisors in four midwestern states (Nebraska, Indiana, Iowa, and Michigan) completed a web-based survey during the spring of 2012 about their use of weather and climate information, public or private sector employment, and roles as information intermediaries in three advising specializations: agronomic, conservation, and financial. Key findings reveal that advisors who specialize in providing agronomic information are positively inclined toward acting as weather and climate information intermediaries, based on influence and willingness to use climate information in providing many types of operational and tactical advice. 


Advisors who provide conservation advice appear to be considering weather and climate information when providing tactical and strategic land-use advice, but advisors who provide financial advice seem less inclined to act as climate information intermediaries. These findings highlight opportunities to increase the capacity of different types of advisors to enable them to be effective weather and climate information intermediaries.


Access full article

Read press release 

New Article in the Journal of Environmental Psychology

Mase, A.S., Cho, H., and L.S. Prokopy. 2015.

"Enhancing the Social Amplification of Risk Framework (SARF) by exploring trust, the availability heuristic, and agricultural advisors' belief in climate change."
Journal of Environmental Psychology . 41: 166-176.




Using a survey of agricultural advisors across the Midwestern U.S., this paper explores two additions to the Social Amplification of Risk Framework (SARF)-trust in information sources and the availability heuristic. 



Connections between demographic factors, belief in climate change, perceived risk, and advisors' attitudes toward adaptation to climate change are examined. Three-fourths of advisors believe climate change is occurring, but disagree on the human contribution. Trust in information sources predicted agricultural advisors' belief in climate change. Consistent with the availability heuristic, perceiving variability in weather made advisors more likely to believe in anthropogenic climate change. 


Believing climate change is at least partly human caused increased agreement that agricultural adaptation is important. Perceiving greater risk from potential climate impacts and noticing variable weather also significantly increased adaptation attitudes. Findings suggest that trust and availability heuristic could be added to help explain the processes of social amplification and attenuation of risk.


Access full article


New Article in the Journal of Extension

Tyndall, J., J.G. Arbuckle, T. Haigh, C. Knutson, L.W. Morton, L.S. Prokopy, and M. Widhalm. 2015. "New Atlas Features Corn Belt Farmers' Perspectives on Agriculture and Climate." Journal of Extension, 53(1): Tools of the Trade.




The Farmer Perspectives on Agriculture and Weather Variability in the Corn Belt: A Statistical Atlas is a new publication available online at The atlas includes maps and tables that make it easy for readers to gauge farmer perspectives within the US Corn Belt. Topics covered include farmer beliefs about climate change, attitudes toward actions in response to increased weather variability, risk perceptions, and experiences with weather extremes. This region-specific information on farmers' climate change and risk beliefs is designed to help Extension personnel tailor the climate adaptation and education programming they offer in their region.


Access full article


Researcher Spotlight research
Two key partners on the U2U project are Dr. Ray Massey and Dr. Pat Guinan with the University of Missouri. They both played a critical role in U2U decision tool development and disseminating climate information to local farmers and ag advisors.


Dr. Ray Massey


Ray Massey graduated from New Mexico State and Oklahoma State Universities before joining the faculties of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Missouri. For the last 2 decades his research and extension efforts have focused on the interaction between production agriculture and the environment. Significant programs include efforts in atrazine management, manure management and the incorporation of weather information into farmer decision support tools. Ray works with the U2U teams primarily in developing decision support tools and educating farmers and crop advisors on how to incorporate these tools into their decision making process.


His greatest experience in climate change has occurred as he moved from Loring Air Force Base in the extreme northeast corner of Maine to the dry desert heat of New Mexico to the humid conditions of Missouri. The climate changed every time. Ray is married to Penny and helped homeschool their three daughters. He is motivated by the proverb "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."


Dr. Pat Guinan


Pat attended the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign where he received a B.S. in physical geography in 1986 and an M.S. in atmospheric science in 1988.  He came to the University of Missouri to continue his education in atmospheric science and serve as a climatologist with the Agricultural Experiment Station.  Since 1996, he has been employed by the University of Missouri's Extension Commercial Agriculture Program as a climatologist. 

Pat received his Ph.D. in Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences in 2004 and, in addition to his Extension and campus activities as an Associate Professor in Climatology, he operates a statewide network of 31 automated weather stations, serves as the State Climatologist for Missouri, Director of the Missouri Climate Center, and co-coordinator of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network in Missouri. Pat's work with the U2U team is primarily involved with tool development, occasional blog posts and ensuring the tools developed contribute toward client needs.


Pat has a passion for traveling and nature, and has been to all 50 states and a majority of the National Parks. He and his husband, Steve, enjoy attending auctions and going to estate sales looking for mid-century modern items to furnish their home. Pat, one of 7 children, and Steve, one of 8, also enjoy visiting family, and have 21 nieces and nephews. 


U2U Team photo  
U2U Team


About Us: 

Useful to Usable (U2U) is a multi-institution research and extension project focused on improving the resilience and profitability of farms in the North Central U.S. amid a more variable and changing climate. Through the development and dissemination of decision support tools, resource materials and training, we strive to transform existing climate information into actionable knowledge for more effective decision making. 

Melissa Widhalm, Project Manager

Click here to join our mailing list.

This project is supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2011-68002-30220 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.