News & Events
How In-Field Weather Stations Lighten Your Workload
Advances in precision farming technology have completely changed the game for today’s growers by enabling them to remotely monitor, measure and control all kinds of variables. Weather, unfortunately, is one thing that can’t be controlled; however, what IS under our control is choosing the source we trust for our weather information. Newspapers, television, the internet and even the rain gauge in our front yard can help us determine weather conditions. As informative as these tools might be, they all fall short in the same way – they can only help us make a better guess as to what things are like out in the field. That’s where an in-field weather station outdoes them all.
With an in-field weather station, there’s no more guessing game. The data comes right from your field instead of the weather Doppler in town. If conditions vary from town to town, they’re going to vary from one field to the next too. The data collected from an in-field weather station is going to help you make the right decisions at exactly the right times, especially when it comes to irrigating.
Obviously, knowing rainfall totals will help you decide if you should even irrigate at all. Having this information will conserve both water and energy. When you are irrigating, you’ll also be able to see temperature, wind speed, and wind direction. Watching these trends will help you decide if any adjustments need to be made to the application rate to better serve the needs of the crops.
In addition to irrigation, this data can help you make decisions about chemical application. Using information about in-field wind conditions will help ensure that expensive chemical is getting where it needs to go and that it isn’t being wasted. Not only that, but having the ability to monitor wind speed right from a phone app will help sprayers make sure that they’re not putting the neighbor’s crop in jeopardy either.
After the growing season, you can use temperature, wind conditions and relative humidity to determine when to get in the field. Rather than driving around from field to field, growers can use their app to set up alerts to let them know when field conditions are most favorable.
Once the season is over, historical data and reporting can be a big aid in determining what did and didn’t work throughout the year. Analyzing this data can help improve future practices when comparing it to crop performance. It will allow you to pinpoint areas of the field that need improvement when you’re able to look back and see what decisions were made in each place at each time. Not only can this data help in personal decision-making, but it can also be useful if records are needed to maintain a commercial or industrial permit issued by regulatory agencies.
These are only a few of the benefits to having in-field weather data, and there are countless others. One of the most important parts of the decision-making process is gathering reliable data. If the data is accurate and trustworthy, then the odds of having a successful outcome are much more favorable. While we still can’t control the weather, it’s easy to see how it may be just as important to control the source of our weather data. In the end, you’ll save water, energy, chemicals, stress and time – all of this from having a reliable source of information.
Roadmapping a Successful Irrigation Season