U2U project regionWeather and climate patterns are a driving force behind the success or failure of Corn Belt cropping systems. Useful to Usable (U2U) was a multi-year, multi-university integrated research and extension project, funded by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.  Its mission was to improve farm resilience and profitability in the North Central U.S. by transforming existing climate data into usable products for the agricultural community. The suite of decision-support tools was a product of this effort to help producers make better long-term decisions on what, when and where to plant, and how to manage crops for maximum yields and minimum environmental damage.  The Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC) was a partner in this effort and is proud to be a co-host of the project’s suite of decision-support tools.

Tools and Resources

Go to AgClimate Viewer

AgClimate Viewer

A convenient way to access customized historical climate and crop yield data for the U.S. Corn Belt. View graphs of monthly temperature and precipitation, plot corn and soybean yield trends, and compare climate and yields over the past 30 years.

Go to Corn GDD

Corn GDD

Track real-time and historical GDD accumulations, assess spring and fall frost risk, and guide decisions related to planting, harvest, and seed selection. This innovative tool integrates corn development stages with weather and climate data for location-specific decision support tailored specifically to agricultural production.


Go to Corn Split N

Corn Split N

Determine the feasibility and profitability of using post-planting nitrogen application for corn production. This product combines historical data on crop growth and fieldwork conditions with economic considerations to determine best/worst/average scenarios of successfully completing nitrogen applications within a user-specified time period. Now available for 12 states in the north central U.S.

Go to Irrigation Investment Tool

Irrigation Investment Tool

The U2U Irrigation Investment tool lets you explore the potential profitability of installing irrigation equipment at user-selected locations across the Corn Belt. Discover how many years from 1980-2005 irrigation would have been profitable, calculate the net present value of investment, and compare dryland and irrigated corn and soybean yields under different rainfall conditions.

Go to Probable Fieldwork Days

Probable Fieldwork Days

This spreadsheet-based tool uses USDA data on Days Suitable for Fieldwork to determine the probability of completing in-field activities during a user-specified time period. Hosted by the University of Missouri, this product is currently available for Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri.