Alan R. Bender 1944-2008

by: Dennis Todey

Volume 2009, No. 4, 4 June 2009

Alan R. Bender, 63, of Volga, S.D., died suddenly in Brookings on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008. In 1979 he became an engineer and assistant professor of agricultural engineering at SDSU and the following year he completed his master’s degree in agricultural engineering. In 1984 he was named acting director of the SDSU Water Resource Institute, a position he held until 1991. The previous year, he had been named an assistant professor and agricultural engineer in Extension and acting water quality coordinator. From 1991 to 2001 he was South Dakota’s state climatologist. His contributed significantly to the disciplinary knowledge base and helped pioneer many new processes through each of these positions; his professional achievements are too numerous to

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Integrating the Natural Climate Regime into Management Plans for Swine Wastewater Lagoons

by: Charles L. Wax, Jonathan W. Pote, Michael E. Brown

Volume 2009, No. 3, 1 Jun 2009

Disposal of wastewater from large-scale swine production facilities in the southern region of the U.S. is increasingly problematic as production facilities increase and regulations governing disposal become more restrictive. No-discharge systems are attractive or even mandatory for many producers. In such systems, wastewater is pumped from a storage lagoon when a certain level of storage is reached, and proper disposal depends on evaporation, infiltration into the soil,  and on a crop's ability to utilize some nutrient such  as nitrogen or phosphorus at that time. Under the control of climate in the region, lagoon levels rise during periods of precipitation while the soil becomes wet and the net water requirement of plants decreases, precluding irrigation.  Wastewater volume is therefore typically high du ring winter and spring when pumping would be ecologically damaging, and low during summer and fall when conditions are more often suitable for successful land application. Consequently, at the moment of greatest need this type of disposal system is not operational, and spills or illegal discharges may occur. This study uses daily computer simulation over a 45-year period to test how well five management strategies could remedy this offset distribution of wastewater supply and demand.  Pumping once each year on planned dates of the 15th of June, July, August, and September do successfully shift the time of necessary pumping out of the winter and spring and into the growing season. An annual September 15 th pumping of lagoons is recommended as the most efficient management plan for avoiding illegal overflows and emergency pumping at times when land application will not be successful.   

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Daily Climate Data Quality Control Procedures of the Iowa State Climatologist

by: Harry Hillaker, Karen Andsager

Volume 2009, No. 2, 1 Jun 2009

The State Climatologist Office of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has been performing data entry and data quality  control of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration daily climate data in Iowa since  July 1, 1987. This process uses comprehensive, automated quality control tests based on standard instrumentation and observing practices and on standard climatological consistency. Inconsistencies flagged by these tests are manually resolved using a standard procedure based on information available from other sources and surrounding stations. The process then uses a manual spatial test to flag additional suspect values, which are also manually resolved using a standard procedure based on information available from other sources and surrounding stations. For example, for suspect values spotted in snowfall and snow depth spatial plots, visible satellite imagery may be consulted along with snowfall at neighboring stations to produce reasonable snowfall and snow depth estimates. This manually intensive process has produced a unique resource for comparison of manual quality control with automated processes, as well as analysis of Iowa climate.   

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NWS Frost Depth Observation with Liquid-In Probes Performance: Two-Year Review

by: F. Adnan Akyuz, Mark Ewens, Radu Carcoana, Barbara Mullins

Volume 2009, No.1, 1 Jun 2009

Performance of the liquid-in frost depth probe made in-house by the Grand Forks National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Office (W FO) is compared against soil temperature observations made by North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) at the Fargo location for a two-year period from 2006-2007 to 2007-2008 winter seasons. While the liquid-in frost depth probe provided continuous frost depth observations, NDAWN soil temperature observations had to be interpolated between measurement points to determine the depth where the soil temperature was 0 °C (32 °F). In general, the trends of both observations matched almost identically; however, the magnitude of the depths varied with liquid-in frost depth probe consistently showing deeper frost depths than the NDAWN soil temperature observations.

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Paul Waite: 1918-2008

by: Harry J. Hillaker

Volume 2008, No. 1, 30 Jun 2008

Paul J. Waite, long-time State Climatologist for Iowa, died at the age of 89 in Pittsfield, IL on April 28, 2008. Paul was born on June 21, 1918 in New Salem, IL. He graduated from New Salem High School in 1936 and received a Bachelor of Education in Science and Mathematics from Western State College in Macomb, IL in 1940. He taught and coached in several Illinois schools prior to entering the Air Force Meteorology Cadet Program at the  University of Chicago in 1942. He served as a weather officer for the USAF from 1943 to 1946. He then served as a weather- briefer for the then US Weather Bureau in Chicago from 1948 to 1951. In 1951-1952 he served as a USAF meteorologist in Korea, then returned to work for the USWB in Kansas City. He was the USWB State Climatologist in Madison, WI from 1956- 1959, then took the same position in Des Moines, IA from 1959-1973.   

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