Weather has always gone hand in hand with farming, and as technology has improved so has how we can use historical weather data and weather forecasts to support our decision making processes on farm.
MetQuest, Agrii’s weather data support system works very closely with many farmers and their crops across the UK, and this technology has a lot to offer grape growers.
Many weather stations are sited in vineyards growing Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Pinot meunier, the classic “Champagne” grape varieties, accurately recording the weather data and helping to provide valued information to the vineyards’ management teams.
Agrii weather stations record air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, wind direction, solar radiation, rainfall, soil temperature and leaf wetness. Data is recorded every minute and an average of those readings taken over a 15 minute period, apart from rainfall which is measured in 0.2mm increments. This data is then stored on a secure sever and interrogated via software and the MetQuest App.
The data, apart from being historically useful, is used to support immediate decisions as varied as the creation of pest and disease models, warning of frost events and crop ripening.
Currently these weather stations are being used by the vineyard growers to help predict frost events. An accurate weather forecast gives an indication of a frost event likelihood but as the air temperature drops to a pre-set level, 2°C in most cases, an email is sent warning the team of a possible frost. As the temperature rises or falls, the team can monitor the temperature and take the appropriate measures to use frost protection equipment or go back to bed.
Later in the season the weather data and weather forecast work hand in hand to first predict, and then give actual pest and disease risk levels, helping the agronomy team plan the control of Botrytis, Downy and Powdery Mildew, so ensuring the right product is used at the right time.