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Putting Weather Monitoring to Work

All of my life I have been enamored with the power of Mother Nature. Rain, wind, drought, hail, tornadoes; it is amazing how many things have to align for a weather event to occur. We’ve all experienced the excitement of seeing big, beautiful rain showers coming through on the radar just when we needed it most. Or the disappointment when those big showers break to only sprinkles by the time they reach you. If you walk into my office, you will always see at least one computer screen with a live radar feed. I am constantly monitoring the weather.

With advancements in technology, there are now so many places to access different pieces of weather data that can be relevant to you. On my phone alone, I have 12 different apps, each of which feeds me different bits of useful information and weather updates that help make important decisions on my farm. Though my weather fascination might lean a bit toward the extreme side, I couldn't help but think, wouldn't it be nice if there was one place I could go to get the best features of all 12 apps?

Enter FARMserver’s weather monitoring page. We know that weather means different things to every farmer. From simply monitoring how much it rained at each of your fields to detailed timelines of which weather events occurred during which stage of the growing season, FARMserver’s advanced weather monitoring options provides all the information you need to make important decisions for your farm. 

Weather at the Field Level

The precipitation maps in FARMserver can show where and how much rain fell in your area, and on each of your fields. You can view this information for the past 1-hour, 6-hour and 24-hour periods at any time throughout the day. This can be very important in the spring when you’re trying to determine the driest field to plant. There are always instances where you might experience pop-up thunderstorms that dump 2 inches of rain at your house, but a majority of your fields don’t see a drop of rain. FARMserver’s weather page is focused at the field level, telling you exactly how much rain fell and where. Where you once had to jump in your truck or call all of your neighbors, you now can just take a quick look at FARMserver and know exactly what type of rain events are occurring at your fields. By combining the highest resolution, radar-estimated rainfall data with tried and true accuracy of Davis Weather Stations, FARMserver is able to deliver the most accurate portrait of rainfall available.

Taking a Deeper Dive

While rainfall counts are critical to decision making, there are many farmers who want to take a deeper dive into how weather is affecting each of their fields. Do you constantly ask yourself how or why something happened in one of your fields? Most of the time you will find that weather played a big part. Too much rain? Not enough rain? Was it too hot during pollination? Was it too cold during the nights? Did the rain wash away your fertilizer? All these questions run though our heads all season long. The FARMserver field focused weather page provides you with all the answers you need on one simple, easy-to-read graph. As you can see in this image, the FARMserver weather chart shows high and low temperatures, growing degree units, rain, hail and the timing of each weather event.

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(To see full story with chart images visit farmserver.com)

At the bottom of the chart you can see all of the activities that were performed in this field. The chart starts with planting on May 7. It then details the Crop Health Images that were flown and evaluated, the scouting notes recorded, and ends with the field’s harvest on October 6. 

Putting Weather Monitoring to Work 

Let’s take a quick look at my May 7 planting date. You can see that about a week before planting there was sufficient rain on April 27 and April 29, followed up by a nice warming trend right before planting. All the field needed was a little rain following planting to ensure the crop would get off to a good start. On May 12 we saw about 3.5 inches of rain which left us with plenty of water (in many cases a bit too much). Thankfully the corn recovered and we ended the year with record yields on that field. FARMserver provides farmers with a platform to quickly monitor and review each of your field’s yearly stories and how weather affected your yield. These charts are automatically created for each field you have in FARMserver.  

We know what a crucial part weather plays in monitoring your field’s activities and it is FARMserver’s goal to continue providing the data you need to make quick decisions to maximize your crop’s performance. There are so many great features about our weather monitoring capabilities that I did not address. I invite you to visit www.FARMserver.com to learn more.

Keep your eye on the skies and have a safe planting season!

Craig Rogers 

FARMserver Technical Lead

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