Metos UK has introduced a new range of in-field sensors, said to provide growers with a low cost solution to gain insight on field conditions and improve fungicide use and irrigation, with the potential to reduce costs.
The LoRAIN series comprises three models, each offering a different range of measurements, which can be used in any combination, either individually or as a network across multiple fields to give information across a wide area.
David Whattoff from Metos UK, said: “With no annual subscription, low-cost LoRain sensors can be installed in every field for the season, moved each year, and provide information on key conditions to help farmers optimise their input spend.”
Entry-level Rain models measure rainfall only, while the mid-range LoRAIN can also provide temperature and humidity data. Using this additional information, it also possible to add a disease model to offer insights into disease risk based on the climatic conditions.
“Where disease risk is low, growers can use this information to justify reduced fungicide applications or alter their choice of actives,” explained Mr Whattoff. “Disease models are an add-on product, available for a wide variety of crops, including cereals, root crops, vegetables and fruit, and highlight high, medium and low risk periods for relevant diseases.”
Additionally, there is the LoRAIN Soil model that adds a soil moisture probe to the rainfall, temperature and humidity sensors. This is said to be particularly useful in irrigated crops and provides data on soil moisture deficits over time so that growers can adjust schedules and see the impact of rainfall and irrigation.
“With erratic summer rainfall, and the increasing cost of water abstraction, saving money and time on irrigation will be vital for some growers,” said Mr Whattoff, who added, “For potato crops, blight forecasts are not always accurate at field level, so adding a potato disease model to the LoRAIN Soil provides greater assurance when reviewing spray programmes and choice of actives.”
The sensors are said to have a plug and play design; simple to install and easily removed or relocated as the season demands. All models are wireless and come equipped with a solar panel and long-life battery.
Data is measured and logged every 15 minutes and transmitted to an app every hour, giving reliable and up to date information to help growers with decision making. Users can further allow access to their agronomist and staff.
Visitors to Groundswell (22-23 June) and Cereals (30 June – 1 July) can also enter a competition to win a LoRAIN (rainfall, temperature and humidity) and one year’s disease model for one crop. Metos UK will also be running a special show offer of one year’s disease model subscription for one crop with any LoRAIN or LoRAIN Soil sensor ordered at the events.
For more information go to www.metos.uk