Dennis Todey’s Twitter Takeover

Dennis Todey, the director of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Midwest Climate Hub, took the reigns of our Twitter account on April 23rd to discuss the ongoing conversation around climate and water issues in Iowa.

The climate hubs were created in 2014 by the USDA and consist of 10 hubs spread around the United States. Each hub develops the latest information regarding topics including climate change, agriculture and forestry. The hubs also help to develop new tools, work on adaption efforts in ag-climate change and several other areas of regional agriculture and forestry.

The Midwest Climate Hub (MCH) includes the states: Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. A main objective of the MCH is working hand in hand with the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center (NWSCPC) to compare and contrast current information with the information presented by NWSCPC to make accurate predictions of future climate issues. The MCH also revolves heavily around work with agriculture climate issues, especially impacts on specialty crops.

The MCH also collaborates with many services, including federal and regional partnerships. Some of these partnerships include National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), High Plains Regional Climate Center (HPRCC), National Drought Mitigation Center, USDA Farm Service Agency and USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. The MCH works with many extension programs across the Midwest as well to discuss climate issues and land grant programs.

Todey explains that one of the largest issues the Midwest sees in regards to climate is increased precipitation. Precipitation totals have increased 10-15% in the central United States in the last 100 years, with this causing wetter springs and falls that lead to various agriculture issues including floods and increased surface runoff. With more wetness comes with the possibilities of soil and nutrient loss, as well as an interest for more agriculture draining systems.

Picture attached in tweet:

Of course, another “hot” topic in this discussion was the increase in temperature. The temperature is rising year by year, with positives and negatives in result. One positive is that now Iowa winters are not as painful – it is still cold, but not as severe or lasting as long.

Pictures attached in tweet:

To end the Twitter takeover, Todey inquired about the community’s favorite weather based songs. Here is a link to a Spotify playlist of all of the replies – as well as some of my own additions.

Todey received his Bachelor of Science in meteorology from Iowa State University, his Master of Science in meteorology from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and earned his PhD in agriculture meteorology from Iowa State University. He served as the South Dakota state climatologist for 13 years at South Dakota State University and has been in Iowa working with the USDA since 2016.

You can follow Dennis’ personal Twitter account, @dennistodey, the USDA Climate Hub Twitter account, @USDAClimateHubs, and of course, the Iowa Water Center account @IowaWaterCenter to see the Twitter takeovers in live action.