File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo Inc. / dutourdumonde

Can Farmers Be Field Level Meterologists?

Southwestern Ontario farmers are becoming field-level meteorologists by using the new AgGrower Daily Dashboard.

Farmers based near Sarnia, Mount Brydges and up to Essex are now utilizing up-to-the-minute rainfall and temperature data using 80 automated weather stations, as well as over 200 manual stations.

Gathered data is then sent to a central database, which farmers can access through their computer or mobile devices. The difference, though, is that these measurements can be taken by the metre, rather than the kilometre.

The AgGrower Dashboard is described as a precipitation weather data network that makes very specific weather information available to farmers in real-time. Such information can help farmers make immediate management decisions that reflect the needs of individual fields, and helps in all aspects of crop production.

Farmers can adjust planting schedules to take advantage of drier pats of their farm during damp conditions, adjust pesticide applications based on what stage of growth the plants are in, or time fertilizer application to ensure nutrients stay where they’re needed, something particularly important for farms near Lake Erie and it’s current issues with algae.

This is the first year the AgGrower Dashboard is operational, with each of it’s 80 weather stations installed during the summer of 2016. Farmers that want access to the database much register, as well as pay a $250 charge for access.