Personalized weather technology
My dad always used to say, “When it rained 40 days and 40 nights, we only got two-tenths”. Weather forecasts from the National Weather Service encompass a broad area. Sometimes the temperature or rainfall in one part of your county is vastly different from what happens on your farm, which can make daily management decisions tricky.
A new company called Benchmark Labs in California has developed a system to target weather forecasts for your specific location. CEO Carlos Gaitan says they use data coming from loT sensors on your farm that monitor environmental conditions.
"It’s hardware that combines many sensors that record. Usually relative humidity, temperature, wind speed and direction, maybe solar radiation pressure," says Gaitan. "We get information from the farms with these sensors and then we correct the forecast of the national weather agencies all over the world to match, or to be more accurate, more reflective, of the conditions at the farm level."
Web and phone apps will give real-time data and weather forecasts.
"We use the core information from the IoT sensors, but we also get data from the National Weather Service to provide a forecast up to 10 days into the future at the hourly level," he says. "Farmers care deeply about what is going to happen over the next 24 hours, and we provide them a forecast for those variables for the next day. And then in the web and mobile app, they can see the forecast for the next 10 days."
Gaitan says this technology can improve the accuracy of weather forecasts at your location by as much as 60%.