A NETWORK of 30 weather stations is expected to be fully installed by the end of next month, providing increased access to data for farmers in the Mid North, Mallee and Riverland.
This adds to the existing 40 Mesonet stations that came online across the Mid North in 2019.
The network is funded with $1.4 million from the state government's Regional Growth Fund and allows producers to access up-to-date local weather information from their mobile phones and computers.
Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basham said the expansion of the localised weather system would give primary producers greater data to make an informed decision.
"By the end of this year we anticipate 30 weather stations will be installed across the Mallee and Riverland with the majority to be operational by the commencement of the fire season," he said.
"Not only will the expanded system assist primary producers during the upcoming fire season but will also be invaluable, particularly to broadacre farmers, as they plan spring and summer spraying operations."
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Mr Basham said this was a critical investment by the state government to ensure primary producers had the necessary data to hand to make "responsible, informed decisions", such as avoiding spraying at times when conditions indicate spray drift is likely.
"Estimates currently put the potential loss of value of agricultural production in the Mid North, Riverland and Murraylands from spray drift at over $430, per annum, so it is important we continue to educate and put management tools in place to address this issue," he said.
"While the Mesonet system is an extremely valuable tool, growers will still need to measure, assess and record the weather at the sites they are proposing to spray."
In addition to the new stations, two research stations with 3D wind sensors are also planned for Loxton and Geranium.
With recent wet weather during spring, producers are also being reminded about the need to consider good diligence when planning their spraying operations.
It is vitally important to be aware of sensitive crops, particularly newly shooting grapevines which are highly susceptible to many broad-acre herbicides.
The Mesonet weather system is managed by Ag Excellence Alliance.
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