Sencrop is hoping to ease the early autumn decision making for cereal growers as they determine what the best time to drill is. The company has developed a simple new tool, available to everyone, not just Sencrop subscribers, which compares the different reference weather models with data from local stations to help farmers select the most reliable forecast.
“With more than 1,000 Sencrop stations now operational across British farms, we’ve been able to create new algorithms that can compare forecasted weather with actual weather,” said Sencrop’s UK business development manager Harry Atkinson. “Those algorithms will then calculate – on a postcode-by-postcode basis – which weather forecasts are most accurate for any given locality.”
“Growers need to drill late enough to be effective,” pointed out Mr Atkinson, “but it can be something of a gamble to wait, only to have an unreliable forecast and find out the weather has broken. There’s also the need to drill within a window that will allow sufficient time for critical pre-em herbicide applications.”
By comparing data taken from Sencrop’s weather stations over several weeks from an area around the user’s postcode, the recommendation can vary from day to day, but Sencrop hopes the tool will give growers more confidence in a particular weather model.
“For Sencrop users, they have the added benefit of being able to add the chosen weather model – the six-strong list includes the UK’s Met Office and Meteoblue – directly to their app, making the monitoring and comparison process even easier,” said Mr Atkinson.
“Analysis of user data shows just how much the weather features in our subscribers’ consciousness,” he added. “On average, they checked the weather forecast more than five times every day.”
He concluded that many Sencrop subscribers are also members within a wider local, private network, providing the opportunity to benefit from a grid of ultra-local stations for near 100% reliable weather data across a wider area than their own farms alone.
More than 300 local farming groups have now established such networks, from Affinity Water to agronomy groups as AF and Fram Farmers, and even Birds Eye, which is using the network to add greater precision to its pea harvesting schedules.
For more information go to www.sencrop.com