The importance of weather forecast and work planning tools in agriculture is not something that’s new, but it’s something that many farmers take as beneficial.
It’s always been the holy grail in agriculture to have an accurate, site-specific weather forecast and work planning tools for numerous on-farm applications. Weather IoT devices in the field provide data to calibrate the forecast based on actual field conditions and learn the climate at the field location over a period of time (AI system approach).
This is further enhanced by a multi-forecast model approach which is checked and updated hourly and reduces forecast bias. By using these techniques, a detailed hourly field level forecast for several variables is accessible. For example, temperature, wind speed/direction and gusts, precipitation amounts and probabilities, dew point, relative humidity, leaf wetness, ETo, cloud cover, and solar radiation.
The detailed data is then integrated into work planning tools for: plant nutrition, field accessibility, tillage ability, sowing window, plant protection (spraying), and a harvest window.
There are several benefits to using site-specific weather stations, weather forecast and work planning tools:
What does all this mean? Pest and disease control or spraying is highly dependent on real-time and forecasted weather conditions. Knowing the ‘windows’ of when to spray based on winds, temperature, humidity, delta T and precipitation are critical for product efficacy. This can make a significant difference in yield.
“We spent about CAD$ 4,000 on our iMetos IoT weather solution and site-specific forecasting, and earned money through better timing of seeding operations, workforce planning, an enhanced understanding of soil nutrients via root zone soil moisture, and when the conditions to spray for pest and disease control and efficacy are best. Also, the impact of highly variable weather conditions (climate change) is forcing us to be more proactive on our management plan. Our return on investment is always higher than 10:1 based on the many tools available.”