How to use the connected weather during the harvest?

How to use the connected weather during the harvest?

We asked Florian Spierkel 4 questions, product manager at Sencrop

Hello Florian, can you tell us about the purpose of the product (application) team at Sencrop?

I work at Sencrop as part of the product team. The role of this team is to build a professional application that meets the needs of our farmer customers in order to give them all the necessary tools to assist their decision making.

Our mission is very much linked to understanding the farmer's job and their needs. Some of us come from the field of agronomy and we work to identify the daily problems of our customers in order to provide features in the application that respond to their requirements.

Moreover, the product is divided into several teams called "squads", each of which has a specific objective, linked to a customer issue.

More specifically, what is your mission?

The team in which I work has the current objective of improving the anticipation of risks to crops, thanks to the community aspect of the application.

We do a lot of interviews with our customers to identify the main issues. We have made about 40 calls to our users in the last two months, to identify the issues and respond as precisely as possible. We concluded that there is a demand to focus our future developments on the community/participatory aspect because farmers are the experts of the specificities of their crops, especially since they already share weather data with each other.

Your mission is therefore very much linked to crops. Can you tell us more about the features that allow you to know if your crop is ready to be harvested?

In the application, there is a "crops" tab. This tab allows you to centralise all the important information for your type of crop: weather reports, accumulations, growth stages, diseases, risk of frost, etc.

Among them, the growth stage indicator can be useful at harvest time. This indicator is based on the model developed by Semences de France and Arvalis, which is based, among other things, on the growth degree-day record and the earliness index. It allows you to evaluate the life cycle of your crop and thus determine when your crop is ready to be harvested.

At the moment, these models exist for grain and forage maize, flax, sunflower, sorghum and grassland. It does not yet exist for other crops, including cereals, but it is possible to follow the accumulations of the growing degree day by adding an accumulation from the dedicated tab. This is done automatically, from the farmer's application.

We are in the middle of the harvest period for cereal farmers. Is there a feature that is particularly used to get organised in the short term?

Farmers do know that it's harvest time for grain. But they often wonder what the best window is to intervene. Because if it rains, there is a risk that farm machinery will get stuck and that storage conditions will be poor.

Short-term precipitation forecasts and rain radar are therefore particularly used by farmers at this time of year. This allows them to define the best window of intervention and optimise their harvest.

"At harvest time, I like your radar! You can see the clouds coming and you have a 3-hour forecast, which is very good!"
You think "do we have another half hour or not?", because when you're in the combine you wonder if you're going to make it.
Hugue Philipon, Mixed farming farmer in Chouy (02)

The rain radar gives a 3-hour overview of expected rainfall. This is what allows you to evaluate the time you will have to harvest in the right conditions, and thus optimise your organisation.

Why use local precision weather rather than national weather ?