Update on 10 Sep 2018: We now have 90 weather stations installed across our grower base.
This week marks a culmination of some incredibly hard work from the software developers at KisanHub - a network of 70 weather stations live and accessible to growers using the KisanHub web platform and mobile apps. These weather stations, recording weather data at a 15 minute interval are a real asset to the KisanHub platform. The weather station data can be viewed via web platform or via mobile app.
KisanHub aims to give growers the technological tools they need to be successful and the weather station network is one of the pillars for that success. The network now runs from North Yorkshire to Cornwall, with another 30 stations yet to be installed in 2018. Although every weather station has been allocated to a grower and positioned on farm, any KisanHub platform user can access the live weather information. Users can access this data through:
- Web dashboard
- Mobile apps - Android and iOS
- Application Programming Interface (API)
The weather stations that have been deployed are the Davis Vantage Pro-2 Plus. These are capturing:
- Solar radiation
- Relative humidity
- Wind speed
- Wind direction
- Dew point
- Wind chill
- Heat index
Why are we doing this?
Weather has such a profound impact on agriculture and growers must constantly monitor it or risk the consequences. As everyone across the UK is too aware it has been a particularly challenging spring, with the weather dictating a very late potato planting and with some growers only just 50% completed. Being able to have access to real time, accurate information such as wind speed and rainfall is a very powerful tool to a grower. Whether it is scheduling land preparation based on rainfall, or spraying based on wind speeds and direction, having the knowledge of the weather local to a grower’s field will add confidence to decision making.
Accessing live and historical data
The data is ‘live’ meaning it is being updated every 15 minutes and can be accessed at any time via KisanHub web platform and the mobile app.
The list of sensors is helpfully displayed in the ‘Agromet’ section of the platform under ‘Sensor list’ and here the table view shows weather stations in order of proximity to the grower’s selected farm and or field. There is a capability to assign fields to the nearest weather station - in other words, the most relevant and accurate data to a farm, field or crop can be used in the decision making process. If a grower has only got one weather station but a large geographical land base, they are able to assign their fields to the nearest station providing the most relevant information to their situation. This weather data is then associated with the assigned fields on the web platform and the mobile app - meaning rainfall, wind speed, humidity and more, can all be viewed when out on the farm meaning proactive decisions about farm operations can be made.
Accessing data on the KisanHub mobile app
Being able to access live weather data whilst out on a farm is very valuable tool to a grower. For example a rainfall event could have occurred overnight between an irrigation run. Operators can simply access the weather station data on their mobiles or tablets and see exactly how much there has been and adjust their irrigation schedule accordingly. A sprayer operator may be concerned about the wind speeds and want peace of mind before beginning a field, but they are able to log on and see exactly what is happening allowing them to make better informed decisions. All of the weather stations can be accessed on the app in the ‘MyFarm’ section. By simply clicking on each station icon, a detailed daily report is brought up with data pulled through every 15 minutes.
Historic weather data is valuable for several reasons, most often as part of traceability schemes enterprises are asked to provide weather data. This kind of data isn’t usually stored anywhere easily accessible and this is where the KisanHub platform adds value and makes it simple to provide historical weather data from up to a year ago. With the addition of the weather stations, growers will be able to provide a more accurate depiction of what the weather was doing for individual crops.
Being able to see what previous seasons have brought in terms of weather can be married up to information such as spraying dates, land preparation timings and yields and using this information, a picture can be built of what was successful in that year, or what perhaps didn’t work so well and using the weather data captured by the weather stations, growers can start to build up a picture of why a crop yielded well ultimately aiming towards being a more productive operation.
Simon Taylor, Senior Customer Success Manager says “The weather stations are an important part of the platform. Currently growers can have an accurate view of where the heaviest April showers are, and make the decision of whether they can plant or where. As the crop develops it will assist greatly in making informed decisions regarding irrigation. Knowing what the weather has done in the last few days combined with a local forecast will give the grower a good indication as when to irrigate. There will never be a weather station too far away from a field, but they will never detract from still sticking a fork in the field to make that final choice. Finally, when harvest comes around, each grower will be able to look at the overnight conditions and understand how harvesting should go for the day. Link this to the mobile app and all operators will have this information.”
There is no limit on how many fields can be assigned to each station. If growers have their own weather stations already, these can be linked onto the platform enabling growers to share that information if they wish, but also they will be able to see their weather station data along with the data from other stations across the UK. Over the coming months KisanHub plan to deploy another batch of stations. This will add to the capabilities of the platform and what it can deliver and will make it a very useful tool to growers all across the country.
If you would like more details or are interested in becoming a KisanHub Crop Intelligence Platform user then please contact our team at email@example.com