Webinar On Smart Farming Tech In Africa: Key Takeaways
Learn the key takeaways from the webinar on precision agriculture improving livelihoods and increasing yields in Africa, hosted jointly by EOS Data Analytics and Agroxchange Technology.
Weather forecasting in agriculture is a determining factor, assisting farmers in reaping healthy and abundant yields. Estimated precipitations and temperatures alongside historical data are the key weather parameters for agriculture to schedule field operations from seeding to harvesting, with fertilizer and herbicide treatments in-between. While some chemicals should be sprayed on a dry day, the other ones require moisture to activate. Besides, each crop requires a specific soil temperature for planting. Unexpected rainfalls during harvest time spoil crops. So, farmers cannot achieve the best effect without a reliable agriculture weather report that saves costs and minimizes risks.
The importance of weather forecasting in agriculture reveals why farmers are so keen to get the most accurate and knowledgeable information. With multiple open-access public sources, it may seem that they can effortlessly get weather data for agriculture from any of them. However, seasoned farmland owners tend to trust reliable providers, and the main reason is the data precision that significantly helps them boost profit while reducing costs.
Generally, weather for agriculture is collected from meteorological stations covering a certain territory around them, and the bigger the distance, the less accurate the forecast is. Typical forecasting models allow prognosis based on specific conditions and their combinations. However, such suggestions are far from precise and cannot always assist in making the right decisions and insuring weather risks in agriculture.
This is why public information is merely insufficient for farming needs. Say, when crops don’t get enough moisture on a particular field, even though rainfalls are expected in the region.
The discrepancies between the information from public providers and specific ones can be rather impressive. For example, a comparison of aWhere values vs. NASA Power Grid in terms of maximum temperature monitoring across North America and sub-Saharan Africa reveals the following. In both cases, aWhere gives more accurate results of meteorological monitoring due to 9 km resolution, high-resolution elevation model, and interpolation of temperature with humidity with curvilinear functions.
Super local information is ultimately essential in agriculture since it gives the highest accuracy. Weather tracking in agriculture available on Crop Monitoring relies on multiple aWhere agriculturally-relevant sources:
Using Crop Monitoring software, a farmer can monitor the current climatic conditions of each field separately, including temperature and cloud cover. Further, such important indicators as humidity, wind speed and direction, and precipitation are also available. The software allows selecting either metric or imperial measurements for ease of use.
The strong side of agriculture weather reports available in Crop Monitoring is that they are elaborated not just on one source nearest to the questioned field. The analytics bases on complicated algorithms, choosing the most relevant sources between the radar, satellites, sensors, and meteorological stations. Furthermore, the algorithm analyzes local topographic peculiarities and uses adiabatic corrections for elevation discrepancies between the stations and the area of interest. The applied techniques give the highest data precision. In particular, Crop Monitoring, in partnership with aWhere, reports +/-0.58°C exact temperatures for the US Corn Belt and +/-0.68°C exact temperatures worldwide.
Nowadays, weather patterns are altering, and global climate change is one of the major contributors to shifting agricultural practices. This is why weather analytics in agriculture is of utmost importance. Accurate and reliable reports ensure crop yield increase. They assist farmers to quickly adjust to the situation and mitigate risks as well as schedule field events in the most efficient way.
Crop Monitoring provides not only actual meteorological conditions featured as “Weather Today” but agriculture weather forecasts up to fourteen days as well.
Apart from current conditions in the field and trustworthy forecasts for the upcoming two weeks, Crop Monitoring empowers farmers with information on temperatures and precipitations (daily and accumulated) in the past years as well.
The software generates historical weather charts and allows weather tracking in agriculture for every five years beginning from 2008 to the present days (either with or without the comparison option). This way, farmers can trace certain climatic regularities in the selected region. Recognized historical tendencies and established patterns allow further prognosis for agriculture in their turn and decisions as to the most suitable types of crops.
Crop Monitoring weather analytics for agriculture is closely interconnected with the other data significant for crop development. Vegetation indices and growth stage modeling, also available in the tool, greatly facilitate weighted farming decisions. Alongside other constituents, the modeling is based on the use of weather in precision agriculture, e.g., the temperature regime.
Farming success strongly depends on the three major factors: soil fertility, meteorological conditions, and quality planting material. While selecting vibrant species or improving soil fertility is relatively easy, managing meteorological risks turns out to be the biggest and the most difficult challenge. Meteo extremities like hail, flood, severe cold or heat can ruin the crops in a single day, and a reliable forecast promotes a decent response. Crop Monitoring alerts farmers to the meteo-dangers of frost and droughts.
Another issue to consider in agriculture is that one-degree temperature discrepancies with the forecast within a day produce little effect on vegetation. However, plants are seriously impacted by accumulated events like unfavorable soil temperature, continuous waterlogging, prolonged heat or cold stress. For this reason, agribusiness stakeholders have to take into account both daily meteorological conditions and accumulated values within a week or two.
Crop Monitoring provides all the required data types for credible weather analytics in agriculture, thus, contributing to farming success. Start monitoring your fields with us today.