Weather data for farm profile

This is a wiki post - you should (?) be able to edit / add directly!

Hi all - @mstenta @tibetsprague and @TomWatson are working on creating an farm-level (not granular field-level) specification for the Ag Data Wallet concept in OpenTEAM, specifically in this case for the Farmer Coffee Shop benchmarking service.

Anywho, we’ve been discussing weather and soil data and what would be useful to include in the farm profile information (ie NOT field specific - assume you get the farm address or a single central farm location - not field coordinates).

How would this get used? To clarify with use cases:

  1. I am a farm benchmarking service and want to compare the most relevant farms to each other. I want to allow farmers to specify farms with similar soils (classes) or similar weather (average rainfall, temperatures, heat degree days…).
  2. I am an analysis tool who wants to generate average values across common areas, or insights / recommendations across a subset of weather / soil types.

Any other user stories?
Is Walt’s post below, “I am a farmer looking for other farmers in a similar situation” a user story?

Example data could include:

  • top 3 main soil orders, nearby 10 miles
  • annual rainfall
  • annual solar intensity
  • heat degree days
  • hardiness zone
  • overnight low/high, daytime low/high
  • frost-free, first frost
  • (walt) use Köppen Climate Classification system or maybe
  • (anders) Soil survey to get HEL classification, average slope, etc.
  • (anders) Flood likelihood rating

when filtering, what would a farmer know / know what to filter by?

  • soil texture

Any existing lists of info like this?

Any good ideas of what to include?

Add your ideas here plz! I’ll update this page (make it a wiki page) as info comes in.

Also flagging @DanT @sudokita @zweig716 @lpuro as you’ll have good ideas too probably.


As a farmer interested in collegial sharing of data/ best practices/ war stories with other farmers in a context most resembling my own, it seems to me that the Köppen Climate Classification system is the single most robust “filter” that might be applied to the whole database, to pull me a result set of farms with conditions most resembling my own.

In my case- Hot-summer Mediterranean climate, or Köppen Csa- this translates to a very small cohort of peers with farms on a west-facing coast in mid-latitudes around the globe; in USA, that limits the field to just a small strip of southern California, as depicted on this map.

Viewed through that filter, we might also consider factors such as soil type, annual rainfall, GDDs (Growing Degree-Days) etc. in a meaningful way… But the fact that my annual rainfall here in Algarve PT is almost as much as they get in London UK is really irrelevant for most practical purposes, AFAICT.

There’s my €0.02 worth of Citizen (i.e. non-)Scientist input on this worthy topic!



@DanT or @wgardiner or maybe Joel if he knows… where are good sources for this data that we can use in an input form?

I think OpenTEAM should host our own SSURGO API. Right now for SSURGO data we depend on two (SSURGO map unit boundaries API (flakey), SSURGO stats API) NRCS APIs, at least one of which is frequently down. I don’t think it would be a terrible undertaking, we could use this as a starting point.

For non-US soils we need a solution, and SoilGrids seems like the best (although it’s 250m resolution makes it impractical for some use cases, maybe we could check in with their team and see how their efforts to support higher resolution data are going). Their current APIs probably support all that we’re trying to do. See here for more info on accessing SoilGrids.

3DEP (US) and Copernicus DEMs (hosted as COGs) are good sources for elevation data, which can be used to calculate slope, aspect, etc.


I generally would prefer to use openlandmap as compared to soilgrids @wgardiner is there a reason to choose one over the other? I believe they are pulling from the same sources (?)

Does Koppen provide a concept of “nearby” climates? For example, is San Francisco “closer” to you than Toronto? I’m thinking about whether you can “loosen” the search if you’re not getting enough hits for the same climate…


Hey @Steve-TechMatters: Interesting question, that:

I don’t know enough about this classification to answer in general terms… But regarding the specifics of our two case- as indicated on this Wikipedia page -we each inhabit a subtype of Mediterranean climate zone: Lagos PT being in Csa ("Hot Summer Mediterranean) zone, and San Francisco US being in Csb ("Warm Summer Mediterranean) zone. On the face of it, this would suggest a fair degree of overlap in our respective farm contexts.

Can’t say i know enough sbout SF Bay Area to compare & contrast from farming perspective (my few visits there were on fly-in&out biz trips), but i can tell you that, most of Portugal to N of here being in Csb, tho we do grow a lot of the same stuff, there are significant differences. For example, there are excellent fruits in the N that i’d love to grow (e.g. cherries!), but we just don’t have enough chill hours for tree to set fruit, alas.

Anyway, in terms of a database search scenario: if i were looking to compare soil data with other farms, there are lots of characteristics i might layer into a filter-set, but a good place to start would be with other sites classified as Csa, and if that search were to come up lemons, then Cs* might be the logical next query to try, i should think!


I haven’t used both enough to compare, but I’d assume they offer different data. OpenLandMap is a great source too (again only at 250m resolution), see here for how to access as COGs or here via their API. It’s the same or an overlapping team though, so maybe OLM is just a superset of the data provided via SoilGrids?

Yeah, there’s some organizational background there re. soilgrids and openland map… broadly speaking I think that OLM is more committed to fully open source and accessible information, but honestly I’m not that super involved. So at this point, I’d choose it if it provides similar info.