Eye on the Sky

The WeatherFarm Network can benefit producers when making farm business decisions.

The Canadian Wheat Board’s WeatherFarm Network is revolutionizing the way weather information is gathered and shared by farmers all across Canada. Launched in 2007, the Network has grown to over 700 stations across Canada. WeatherFarm provides real-time data, mapping, and modeling tools and historical charts relevant to your local region.

WeatherFarm gathers data from the field stations, which are linked via the Internet, and from other publicly available weather data such as Environment Canada stations. The stations are solar-powered and wireless, feeding information to an IP data logger on wind, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, precipitation, and rates of change. Canadian producers can then use the on-line Network of information to analyze weather data from their own stations or others found through the Network.

According to Guy Ash, CWB Weather Network Program Manager, demand for the Network continues to grow and exceed expectations right across Canada. “When we launched this program in 2007, we had hoped to see 600 stations in three years and here we are just over two years later with 700 plus stations across Canada,” states Ash. “The response and demand from not only producers but agricultural businesses in Canada has helped to make the Network a huge success that continues to grow.”

Weather information is very valuable to potato growers for making farm business decisions such as applying fertilizer and pesticides, predicting yields, or anticipating frost. “For producers who want highly analytical data, from within their own geographical area, at their fingertips the Network is the answer,” explains Ash. “In the near future we hope to be able to provide further tools such as disease models or irrigation data.”

The mapping and modelling tools provided through the Network offer producers the information to help manage pests, increase the efficiency of their crop protection products, and help to improve farm management practices. Ash adds that additional support tools can and will be added as the Network evolves. “We want to provide a Network that producers can access for concise weather information in their local region,” he says. “The network data is updated every two and half seconds so producers do not have to wait for their local information – it’s always available at their fingertips.”

Through strategic partnerships with other major players throughout Canada, WeatherFarm is envisioned to become the major source of weather models and information for producers and the agricultural industry.

Shannon Schindle

To read more please subscribe.

[readon1 url=”index.php?option=com_chronocontact&chronoformname=subform”]Subscribe Now[/readon1]