Weather station network set for Riverland, Mallee

Weather station network set for Riverland, Mallee

Opinion
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OPINION: The traditional way our farmers do what they do is changing at a rapid pace.

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TECH FUNDED: Andrew Biele, Mallee Sustainable Farming; Peter Cousins, Peter Cousins Consulting; Tim Whetstone; Mick Faulkner, Agrilink; and Tanja Morgan, MSF.

TECH FUNDED: Andrew Biele, Mallee Sustainable Farming; Peter Cousins, Peter Cousins Consulting; Tim Whetstone; Mick Faulkner, Agrilink; and Tanja Morgan, MSF.

THE traditional way our farmers do what they do is changing at a rapid pace.

A big part of that change is due to the adoption of new technology. For a farmer, having real-time data at their fingertips is everything.

At the recent Riverland Field Days, I announced funding for state-of-the-art localised automatic weather stations to be installed across the Riverland and Mallee.

The automatic weather station network delivers a weather monitoring and warning system sufficient to provide highly-accurate and targeted data on the development and presence of adverse conditions for spraying.

The automatic weather station project will be made possible thanks to a $1.2-million grant from the state government's Regional Growth Fund.

In today's farming world, data is everything and giving our producers these tools means they can make informed decisions, when and where they need it.

This technology really is a game-changer for our primary producers.

RELATED READING:Mid North weather station network launched

RELATED READING:Riverland to benefit from weather stations

The station network has a dual function - the stations record key climate data and combine some of these collected data sets to calculate important climatic indicators for agricultural and horticultural production. It's essentially a data collector but that data, if used properly, can save our farming communities millions of dollars.

The high-level sensors these weather stations use are picking up small fractions of changes in the weather at a 'micro-climate' level. This allows farmers to make far more informed decisions than ever before.

The game-changing element is the ability to measure inversions at a local level, which the Bureau of Meteorology network cannot do, which means farmers will know when to spray and when not to.

The project is being managed by the Ag Excellence Alliance and will link with the Mid North mesonet weather stations, where we have seen positive results.

Another component of the system is its ability to assist with reducing the occurrence of crop damage resulting from spray drift.

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