Weather is an inherent companion to agriculture. Practical weather instruments can help agricultural operations react to changing weather conditions throughout the growing season.
Large, sophisticated operations can deploy expensive equipment and employ specialized skills for their operations. But, small farmers often lack the knowledge or resources to employ or purchase the same equipment and services and, thus, they operate with higher risk and reduced profit margins. Farmer cooperatives and government agencies can often assist the small farmers so that diversity and competitive forces are retained in the market.
Regardless of the operation size, weather data is useless if it is difficult to access and understand. Data must be presented it in a way that the grower can extract actionable information. Charts or report that show changes in soil moisture over time, accumulation of grow-degree days, or net water (rain fall minus evapotranspiration) may help growers optimize irrigation and the application of crop treatments.
Total cost of ownership is an important consideration to maintaining profitability. Certainly the purchase price is a factor, but service subscription and maintenance costs must also be considered. Some complex weather stations may perform to very high specifications, but require hiring outside technicians or engineers to install, program, and maintain the systems. Other solutions may require significant recurring fees that may be difficult to justify.
An instrument solution that provides practical information and can be managed by local users may help reduce cost and improve up-time.
Weather Instrument Solution
Dyacon weather stations offer a range of instruments that can be installed, configured, and maintained by the end users. Data is accessible through a free web portal, allowing multiple people throughout the farm or cooperative to benefit from the weather data and reports.
Instruments for the following measurements are available for Dyacon weather stations:
- Wind (current, average, and gust)
- Air temperature
- Barometric pressure
- Solar radiation (insolation)
- Rain gauge
- Soil moisture
- Soil temperature
- Leaf wetness
Calculated values such as dew point, heat index, and humidex are included.
Beyond the standard dashboard and instrument charts, DyaconLive continues to expand with reporting options. Current reports include:
- General weather report
- Irrigation (net water and evapotranspiration) report
- Grow-degree days report
Users can also set email alerts for various conditions.
Users that deploy multiple weather stations will appreciate the maintenance management system and automated data quality checks. Combined with the other operational information, users have the tools to ensure that weather instruments are generating reliable data.
Dyacon weather stations also offer a range of connectivity options.
Data can be transmitted by the embedded cell phone or WiFi transceiver to DyaconLive or Weather Underground. A cable connection to a PC can also be used to show current conditions locally and upload to DyaconLive. Research users may also want to access the raw data, which is stored on the weather station controller in the data log or can be downloaded from DyaconLive.
Dyacon is not just a system integrator, but the actual manufacturer of the weather station equipment. As such, we appreciate user suggestions that can lead us to product improvements.