Ask the Expert: A USDA Climate Hub Q&A with Julian Reyes

In this Ask the Expert, Julian Reyes, National Climate Hubs Coordinator for USDA, answers questions about how the Climate Hubs work with USDA agencies and partners to provide research-backed support and resources for farmers and ranchers.

Julian provides connection and cohesion across the regional Hubs, supports Climate Hub efforts across USDA agencies, coordinates with other climate networks, and engages with stakeholders. He was previously a Climate Hub Fellow with the Southwest Climate Hub co-located at the Agricultural Research Service Jornada Experimental Range in New Mexico.

Julian Reyes in blue suit jacket
Julian coordinates with USDA agencies and partners to get climate related research and resources into the hands of producers across the U.S.

What are the USDA Climate Hubs?

The USDA Climate Hubs translate climate science into action, putting USDA research and resources into practice.

The Hubs develop and deliver science-based, region-specific information and technology to natural resource and agricultural managers to help you make climate-informed decisions that reduce agricultural risk and build resilience to climate change. Our useful tools can help you plan for and manage weather- and climate-related risks. 

How does USDA support farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners interested in making climate-smart management decisions for their operations?

The Climate Hubs offer a variety of resources to help you manage weather and climate-risks, including tools and technology, outreach and education, and risk assessments:

  • Tools and technology to help you respond effectively to climate change impacts including drought, extreme weather events, and changing growing seasons. We provide coordinated technical support to enhance USDA program delivery, especially to underserved and vulnerable communities.

The following tools can help you make informed management decisions on your operation:

  • Adaptation Workbook: A flexible process to consider the potential effects of climate change and design land management and conservation actions to prepare for changing conditions.
  • Grass-Cast: A grassland and forage productivity forecast for ranchers and rangeland managers.
  • AgRisk Viewer: A new platform to access, analyze, and visualize historical crop insurance loss data to inform risk management efforts.
  • Seedlot Selection Tool: A web-based mapping application that uses current or future climates to match seedlots and planting sites.
  • Outreach, education, and technical support on innovative ways to help lower barriers to adaptation, mitigation, and resilience-building:
  • Regional assessments of risk and vulnerability and user-friendly information and data to support risk management and climate change response.

Where are the climate hubs located?

There are 10 regional Climate Hubs across the nation co-located at Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) research units:

Specialty crop producers can talk to the specialty crop liaison for their region to learn about insurance options.

To find your regional Climate Hub contacts visit climatehubs.usda.gov/contact.

How do you work with other USDA agencies?

The Climate Hubs are a unique collaboration that connects USDA research and program agencies like the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), Risk Management Agency (RMA), Economic Research Service, and Foreign Agricultural Service, among others.

We support USDA stakeholders by providing vulnerability assessments, curating decision-making tools, and facilitating stakeholder outreach on climate change and its impacts on working lands.

The Climate Hubs also amplify the work of other USDA agencies to ensure USDA is meeting the needs of customers like you.

  • For example, the Southwest Climate Hub worked with RMA to provide more accessible, discoverable, and usable crop insurance data through the AgRisk Viewer.
  • Our Northern Plains Climate Hub developed a grassland and forage productivity model and rangeland drought dashboard working closely with agencies and partners.
  • At our Northeast Climate Hub, the NRCS liaison developed a webinar training titled “Helping farmers help the land through climate-smart farming” highlighting NRCS resource concerns and practices.

Where can I find more information?

Visit climatehubs.usda.gov/ for more information. For contact information visit climatehubs.usda.gov/contact. We are happy to help connect producers, USDA staff, and stakeholders to each other and to the best resources USDA has to offer.

Cassie Bable is a public affairs specialist with USDA. She can be reached by email at cassie.bable@usda.gov.