Since the creation of the Atmospheric Resource Board (originally the Weather Modification Board) in 1975, a number of evaluations have been made of the effects of the program. These evaluations have been based on a variety of differing data bases. Among them are: ARB Cooperative Observer Network rainfall data, National Weather Service (NWS) rainfall data, crop hail insurance data compiled by the National Crop Insurance Service (NCIS), and wheat yield data compiled by North Dakota State University.
Computer-based numerical models have also played an important role. Economic models have provided estimates of the economic benefits of the program, while cloud models have produced increased insights into the complex processes within the clouds that ultimately govern hail and rain production. All of these evaluations have been independent, that is to say, they've been done by agencies and universities unaffiliated with the ARB, allowing the best qualified persons to do the evaluations, improving the chances for an unbiased, solid, scientific approach.
As of this date, all evaluations of the program have shown either positive or neutral results. No suggestions have been found of negative impacts, either within or outside target areas.
Crop Hail Evaluation
Two evaluations have been completed which help define the efficacy of the North Dakota hail suppression efforts. The first of these employed years of crop hail insurance data in an attempt to determine the degree of effectiveness of the hail suppression effort. (Read Full Article)
Economic Impact of Reducing Hail and Enhancing Rainfall in North Dakota
A recent study from the NDSU Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics (Bangsund and Hodur, 2019) describes the significant economic benefits cloud seeding provides to agricultural production in the western North Dakota counties of Bowman, McKenzie, Mountrail, part of Slope, Ward and Williams. (Read Full Article)
Some of the most important fundamental research in North Dakota took place during the North Dakota Pilot Project (NDPP), a randomized cloud seeding program conducted in McKenzie County from 1969-1972. (Read Full Article)
To date the effects of the seeding program on urban areas have not been quantified. (Read Full Article)
Wheat Yield Study
Though evaluations that attempt to statistically establish and/or quantify precipitation or hailfall are useful, the "bottom line" for the county-sponsored NDCMP is really what is obtained in terms of increased crop yields. (Read Full Article)
View all of the references used in the above articles along with links to the publications. (View Full List Of References)