The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), steward of agriculture for the nation, has long been concerned with the impacts of environmental change on U.S. agricultural production, forest resources, and rural economies. One particular area of interest is the effect of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the Sun on agriculture. High levels of UV radiation, particularly UV-B radiation, are known to cause cell damage and other health effects in plants and animals that can impact agricultural productivity. Further, as environmental change, including stratospheric ozone layer depletion and recovery, may lead to unanticipated variations in the UV radiation reaching Earth’s surface, future impacts of UV radiation on agriculture remain uncertain. Recognizing the need to better understand the role of UV radiation upon agricultural and ecological systems, the USDA initiated the UV-B Monitoring and Research Program (UVMRP) in 1992 through legislative authority available to the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The UVMRP is guided by NIFA’s mission, to invest in and advance agricultural research, education, and extension to solve environmental and societal challenges.
Our climatologic network is designed to provide an adequate density of measurement locations to establish the spatial and temporal characteristics of UV-B irradiance. The network follows a grid-based design that divides the country into 26 regions of approximately equal area.
About UVMRP Data
The UV-B Monitoring and Research Program operates a network of solar irradiance monitoring stations, throughout the United States. For more detail about our instrumentation, and locations please select Network. The data is divided into primary data, derived data products, UV
The agricultural community and decision-makers need tools to reliably predict crop yields and assess optimal management practices and economic impacts under changing environmental conditions at the regional scale. To fulfill this need, UVMRP is currently developing the Climate-Agroecosystem-UV Interactions and
UV-B radiation affects agriculture and ecosystems in complex interactions with environmental change. Increasing UV-B radiation is known to harm crops, causing damage in 66% of plant cultivars tested. It can harm crops directly, through heritable mutations in DNA, changes to