How to choose the right connected weather station?

How to choose the right connected weather station?

Faced with climatic hazards that disrupt the daily life of farmers, many weather tools are developed to help them manage the risks they face. Connected weather stations are professional precision tools that provide localised weather data to better manage crop risks. They help to organise multiple tasks in the field, save inputs or have a better impact on the environment.

But to choose the most suitable equipment for your situation, several criteria must be taken into account. What type of weather station is suitable for my crop? What are the uses of these stations? Which options exist and which are beneficial? These are all questions to be asked before making the investment."

Why switch to a professional connected weather station?

The investment in a weather station can be motivated by the monitoring of remote fields to avoid unnecessary travel, but also by all the options offered in the mobile and web application to analyse this data as simply as possible. In all cases, they offer multiple advantages: organisation, savings thanks to good input management and irrigation control, increased productivity, etc. They simplify life compared to manual devices.

Remote weather readings

What if we stayed at home and watched the rainfall on our fields? Connected weather is all about accessibility and accuracy. From a smartphone, a computer or a tablet, local weather data can be consulted wherever you are, in order to follow the evolution of the climate in real time. Updated every fifteen minutes in the Sencrop application, the weather data are real allies in crop protection.

Functionalities of the weather app: toward a better organisation and crop protection

In general, the various brands of weather stations are coupled with a weather application that allows the data to be processed to simplify decision-making. Each professional weather application has its own specificities, but all of them offer indispensable functionalities:

  • Data recording: transmitted over a low-speed network, the data is automatically recorded to guarantee the traceability of operations. In addition, these data can be exported to many spreadsheets in order to facilitate the reading of data and the follow-up of treatments for example.
  • Weather forecasting: In order to organise agricultural work with the best possible visibility, weather forecasts are key. These forecasts are based on models, each with their own specificities. They help avoid the risks of drift, leaching or evaporation of the product after application, for example.
  • Numerous features specific to agricultural work: live readings, viewing data from other stations, frost prevention, disease and pest risks... Weather stations are innovative and constantly improving devices, ideal for farmers. With the alarm function, it is for example possible to create your own frost alerts, or to spray with optimal conditions.
"Often, weather applications offering forecasts are based on a single climate model and a single scenario" Serge Zaka, doctor in agroclimatology at ITK.

Sencrop offers several of the most reliable weather forecasting models on the market to let you choose which one you prefer to consult depending on the use case.

Weather data coupled with external tools

Connected weather stations also help farmers in agronomic decision making, by correlating their ultra-local data with DSTs (Decision Support Tools) such as Sectormentor, Rimpro... For example, data from the Sencrop wetting sensor is used by some partner DSTs to establish patterns of leaf disease outbreaks and help define optimal treatment windows.

Which weather station to choose according to your crop

Several criteria should be studied before investing in a weather station. The type of farm (field crops, potatoes, arboriculture, viticulture...) as well as the risks to which it is exposed, will influence the type of connected weather station that the farmer will need, as the measurements sought will not be the same. The basic level of this equipment usually includes a rain gauge as well as a temperature and humidity sensor

The connected rain gauge, for all types of crops

Rain is the key data for any farmer. The connected rain gauge is an essential tool for organising sowing, making the most of nitrogen inputs or positioning a plant protection treatment. With its wet temperature sensor integrated directly into the Raincrop station at Sencrop, it can also detect the proximity of a frost to enable producers to switch on the protection systems.

✓ Rainfall
✓ Temperature
✓ Humidity
✓ Wet-bulb temperature
✓ Dew point

The connected anemometer for crop protection treatments

The connected anemometer is the perfect station if you are looking to optimise your treatments. The data collected by this type of station makes it possible to treat at the right time and save on inputs, all in compliance with European recommendations.

✓ Wind speed in mph
✓ Wind direction
✓ Gusts
"As soon as we move on to crops involving a lot of treatments, the anemometer becomes very useful for the regulatory aspect," says Olivier Deudon, agro-meteorologist at Arvalis - Institut du végétal.

The wetting sensor, ideal for orchards and vineyards

The humidity sensors offered by many manufacturers are useful especially in arboriculture and vineyards. Placed in the heart of orchards or vineyards, this high-precision sensor provides the data needed to help farmers fight diseases and pests effectively, but also to be even more precise about detecting the risk of frost.

✓ Wetness
✓ Air temperature
✓ Humidity
✓ Wet-bulb temperature
✓ Dew point

Sensors for irrigation: pyranometer, tensiometric or capacitive probe

Many types of sensors exist to control irrigation. At Sencrop, our irrigation solution consists of a complete weather station including a pyranometer (or irradiance sensor). This device converts the solar radiation (or irradiance) it receives into an electrical signal. This solar radiation is the basis for calculating the ETP and the water balance: two essential tools for optimal crop watering.

✓ Solar irradiance
✓ To be combined with other weather stations

A ready-made network of weather stations

Another possibility to get weather information is to connect to already installed and networked weather stations to see the weather data of neighbouring fields. However, it is always more accurate to have your own weather station on your own plots in order to adapt your interventions to your own ultra-local data. Indeed, the weather can sometimes change only a few kilometres away!

The advantage of this service is that there is no equipment to be installed and maintained by the farmer.

"These spatialized data work well for certain types of measurements such as rainfall, but for other criteria, it is necessary to have more localised data," comments Olivier Deudon.

Ultimately, connected weather stations are highly recommended to support farmers' daily decision making. To anticipate frost, to fight efficiently against diseases and pests or to control irrigation, having an adapted connected weather station simplifies the daily organisation of farmers.

Sencrop weather stations

Rain gauge, anemometer, humidity sensor and irradiance sensor: find the most suitable stations for your use

See Sencrop stations