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Precision Agriculture Empowered by Better Weather Data

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Precision Agriculture Empowered by Better Weather Data

Weather plays a crucial role in agriculture, shaping the growth and productivity of crops. As our atmosphere changes, severe weather that has the potential to destroy crops has become more and more frequent. For example, in 2010 and 2012, high nighttime temperatures affected corn yields across the U.S. Corn Belt, and premature budding due to a warm winter caused $220 million in losses of Michigan cherries in 2012. (GlobalChange.gov) Additionally, more moisture in our atmosphere has the potential to help weeds, pests and fungi to thrive. Currently, U.S. farmers spend more than $11 billion per year to fight weeds, which compete with crops for light, water, and nutrients. The ranges and distribution of weeds and pests are likely to increase. (GlobalChange.gov)

Thanks to advancements in technology and the availability of weather data, farmers now have access to a wealth of information that can transform the way they cultivate their land and mitigate risk to their production.

Why Accurate Weather Data is Crucial

Weather data encompasses a wide range of information, including temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind speed, solar radiation, and more. This data, when accurate, provides valuable insights into weather patterns, enabling farmers to make informed decisions and optimize their agricultural practices.

Enhancing Crop Management

One of the key benefits of accurate weather data in agriculture is its ability to improve crop management. By analyzing weather patterns and predicting future conditions, farmers can determine the best time for planting, irrigation, and harvesting. This knowledge empowers them to optimize resource allocation, minimize crop loss, and increase overall yields. Moreover, accurate weather data can also help farmers identify potential threats such as pest outbreaks, diseases, or extreme weather events, allowing for proactive measures to be taken.

Precision Agriculture

Weather data, when combined with other technologies like remote sensing, GPS, and data analytics, paves the way for precision agriculture. By utilizing improved weather data to create detailed field maps, farmers can precisely tailor their farming practices to the unique characteristics of their land. This enables targeted application of fertilizers, pesticides, and water, reducing input waste and minimizing environmental impact. Precision agriculture not only optimizes resource usage but also improves overall sustainability and profitability.

Extreme Weather Adaptation

As volatile weather continues to pose challenges for the agricultural sector, accurate weather data becomes indispensable in adapting to changing conditions. Observational datasets combined with forecasting models help farmers understand long-term trends and anticipate shifts in weather patterns. Armed with this information, farmers can adopt resilient farming techniques, select suitable crop varieties, and adjust planting schedules to mitigate the risks associated with extreme weather.

Agricultural Weather Data Advancements

It is clear that accurate weather data has a significant impact on the agricultural industry. That’s why companies like Climavision continue to cultivate advancements in weather data technology for agricultural organizations. Specifically, developments in weather radar coverage, increased observational datasets, numerical weather prediction models, and artificial intelligence (AI) have the potential to significantly enhance agriculture growth and productivity.

Expanded Weather Radar Coverage

Improved weather radar coverage provides farmers with detailed and timely information about precipitation patterns, storm movement, and severe weather conditions. This data allows farmers to make confident decisions regarding irrigation, crop protection, and harvesting schedules. By having access to accurate and localized radar data, farmers can optimize their operations, mitigate risks associated with extreme weather events, and minimize crop losses.

Climavision is addressing improved weather radar coverage in the US head on. We’re deploying our own network of supplemental high-resolution radars to close significant low level radar data voids and drastically improve forecast speed and accuracy. Over the next 4 years, Climavision is rolling out over 200 radars across the continental United States. So far, we have a more than two dozen radars installed. Three of the radars are located in Wagram, Charlotte and High Point in North Carolina – closing one of the most prominent gaps in the country. Over 41% of North Carolina’s Population lived in a radar coverage gap before we installed the Climavision radars for that area.

Improved Numerical Weather Prediction Models

Numerical weather prediction (NWP) models leverage vast amounts of weather data and computational power to generate forecasts for future weather conditions. These models take into account various atmospheric variables and use sophisticated algorithms to simulate weather patterns. By utilizing NWP models, farmers can obtain accurate forecasts for their specific locations, allowing them to confidently plan agricultural activities accordingly. They can improve planting, irrigation, and pest management strategies based on predicted weather patterns, minimizing risks and maximizing productivity.

At Climavision, we have developed advanced NWP models to help organizations like farming operations to specifically address the new norms in extreme weather to better predict volatile weather by increasing weather data collection. We are increasing our access to unique observational data from multiple sources as well as  our high-resolution radar network. These datasets come from space-based sources and other novel datasets, giving more insight into what is happening even in remote areas, such as over the world’s oceans, in real time. We not only collect more data, we also can assimilate more into our models as well. Through meticulous data processing and rigorous quality control measures, we increase the usable observational data to over 20%, compared to the 3% provided by government sources. The more data there is to input into weather models, the more accurate the model outputs will be.

In tandem with more observational data being collected and assimilated, Climavision’s superior NWP promises to deliver more accurate, high resolution forecasts from a global view down to assets level predictions to provide a better understanding of potential impacts as weather moves through the atmosphere. These mathematically superior weather models were meticulously calibrated to account for the evolving landscape of extreme weather patterns by weather experts with extensive experience in the meteorology field.

Cutting Edge Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI techniques, such as machine learning and data analytics, offer immense potential in leveraging weather and agricultural data for precise decision-making. By analyzing weather data, crop performance, and other relevant factors, AI models can generate insights and recommendations specific to individual farms, with more accuracy. These AI-powered systems can provide insights that help guide farmers on optimal planting dates, irrigation schedules, fertilizer application rates, and crop protection measures. AI-driven solutions help farmers optimize their practices, minimize resource waste, and achieve higher yields.

In April of 2024 Climavision accelerated our AI capabilities by acquiring Intersphere, a leader in subseasonal to seasonal (S2S) forecasting and new AI technology. Climavision’s proprietary datasets and experience with physics-based forecasting seamlessly integrate with Intersphere’s S2S technology and AI capabilities, increasing accuracy and extending forecast horizons for critical weather events. S2S forecasting enables businesses to make informed decisions weeks to months to even years in advance, offering farming operation managers ample time for adapting strategies and optimizing resources. These additional AI capabilities enable Climavision to generate ensemble forecasts that offer users a probabilistic breakdown of different outcome likelihoods. Additionally, Intersphere’s AI technology will enable Climavision to deliver customized forecasts for specific use cases with more speed and verified accuracy.

 

Harness Advancements in Agricultural Weather Data Technology

Weather data has become an indispensable tool for modern farmers, empowering them to make informed decisions, optimize their agricultural practices and mitigate risk. Technological advancements to improve the accuracy of agricultural weather data are crucial to support these efforts. Better, high-resolution radar coverage, expanded observational datasets, cutting-edge numerical weather prediction models, and the integration of Artificial Intelligence offer tremendous potential for improving weather forecast accuracy. With Climavision’s investments and innovations in these areas, farmers can enhance crop management, embrace precision agriculture, adapt to extreme weather, and ultimately increase their productivity and profitability. If you would like to learn more about how this may benefit you, your business or community, contact us.

 

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