A network of connected weather stations is being rolled out across the UK to help growers and agronomists make crop management decisions.
The network, provided by Frontier Agriculture and Sencrop, will give farmers access to their own data but also other Frontier-connected stations, helping to build a picture of developing weather and improving forecasting.
Dr Paul Fogg, crop production technical lead at Frontier says: “Agriculture is directly linked to the vagaries of the weather, and smart use of weather data to drive decision support tools will become increasingly important.”
He added that the network will aid decisions such as timing of crop protection sprays, fertiliser applications, irrigation scheduling, and other fieldwork.
“Growers can better target their resources by having access to real-time weather information. Contractors can also identify the best locations to visit, minimising downtime and maximising productivity.”
Weather data can enable improved disease modelling, helping growers to proactively tackle challenges such as barley yellow dwarf virus or blight, says Dr Fogg.
“These tools provide earlier disease insight and that’s important for the farmers our agronomists advise. This new weather station initiative complements existing Frontier insight and the analytical tools provided via our online farm management platform, MyFarm.
“Earlier insight means our agronomists can help farmers improve the quality of decisions in relation to disease intervention,” says Dr Fogg.
In the app, farmers can view real-time data for up to 40 different in-field locations in their area, and can integrate all the information with their farm management software for environmental stewardship purposes.
So far, 300 stations have been installed across the UK with aims to set up 480 weather stations in 240 sites, each with a rain and wind mast.