The Omnia Climate module provides more detailed and accurate weather data than is possible from physical weather stations, which are notoriously expensive costing anything from £800-£1000, and need constant maintenance.
The module uses virtual weather stations which can be pinpointed at any location, providing weather data accurate to 1 km2 for a 10 day period.
Measurements provided within the module include the standard units for rainfall, temperature, windspeed, solar hours but also soil moisture. It is also possible to access historic and soil weather data for that site for the last ten or twenty years.
This data is generated through Iteris, the global leader in weather data, through both satellite and ground based stations.
The Pest and Disease forecast model initially aims to tackle BYDV by using weather data to make treatment timings as accurate as they can be – on a field by field basis.
The risk is presented in a graph, and accrues degree days along the 170 degree-day model that’s frequently used. The graph counts up time and as it reaches 150-day degrees, it shows up as a warning period to alert growers when they’re reaching a key timing. This email alert can be set by the user at a time dictated by themselves. The model tracks when crops are drilled, as with every different drilling date there is a different risk period. Growers and agronomists can manually reconfigure the model, with treatment dates.
There is a similar module for Potato blight forecasting to make sure that sprays are going on at the right place at the right time and prioritising fields. The Omnia team are developing rust and Septoria models too.
Growth stage prediction is another useful asset made possible with the detailed weather data. Crop growth is related degree days, and the Climate module software combines the 10 day forecast and with long term average weather data to predict when key growth stages are going to occur.
This allows growers to prioritise and plan input applications more effectively.
Farmer / Agronomist benefits
CropMonitor Pro delivers robust pest and disease risk prediction to optimise treatment decisions from crop emergence onwards in wheat, barley, oilseed rape and potatoes.
Who are the key researchers in this area?