Grass-Cast Tool Helps Predict Productivity
The Grassland Productivity Forecast, or “Grass-Cast,” is an online tool developed by USDA scientists to predict whether grasslands are likely to produce above-normal, near-normal, or below-normal amounts of vegetation. Originally designed for ranchers and grassland managers in the Northern Plains, the tool was expanded in 2019 to cover the Southern Plains. In 2020 it will be expanded again to also cover much of New Mexico and Arizona. Additionally, Grass-Cast will now be providing forecasts for individual 6-mile x 6-mile areas, rather than the county-by-county results available in previous years. The first Grass-Cast maps for the 2020 season were released in mid-April and will be updated every two weeks until the end of August to incorporate newly observed weather data.