Weather stations a game changer

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Farmer Nathan Crosby, Depmartment of Primary Industries and Regional Development Keith Ohlsen and coodinator Phillip Honey.
Camera IconFarmer Nathan Crosby, Depmartment of Primary Industries and Regional Development Keith Ohlsen and coodinator Phillip Honey. Credit: Supplied

Stirlings to Coast Farmers is testing new weather stations equipped with forecasting systems in its Smart Farm project.

It hopes the stations will make farmers rely less on their “gut feeling” and instead use weather forecasts and data specific to their location. For the project, which is happening with funding from multiple grants, two smart farms have been created in the region to test a wide range of technologies.

The weather stations transmit data to the internet so it can be accessed without visiting the site.

Smart Farms co-ordinator Phillip Honey said the aim was to make farms more efficient and cost-effective.

“One of the key interests for the Smart Farms is to improve weather forecasting so farmers can make better decisions, particularly coming up to harvest,” he said.

“At the moment we are looking at the short-term benefits, which the big one is farmers aren’t having to drive to the other side of the farm — they can actually see the weather on their device.

“In the long term, things like nutrient planning — if we get a better understanding of what is happening, we might put an extra fertiliser application on or hold off on a spray.”

The two stations have been installed in Woodenulup and West Kendenup.

The DTN weather stations track rain, temperature, humidity, wind speed and more.

Mr Honey said the data went into the DTN cloud and created hyper-local weather forecasts.

“Basically it is a prediction right to that point, on that farm, rather than looking at a station 20km away,” he said.

“It is a self-adapting model.

“It is producing a lot of great data already and they have only been in for nine days.”

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