We are happy to announce that the team reach another milestone in the EUREKA SA Climate Smart Agriculture project – we reached 200 weather station installations across the Western Cape, South Africa.
Basic Information about the Project – Climate Smart Agriculture
Although the IoT market is growing globally, the adoption rate of precision agriculture in South Africa has been slow, although larger growers seem to understand the benefit. This can primarily be attributed to the lack of training and in-field support. Weather data and predictive models are becoming increasingly important, but big data collection in most cases results in more confusion to the customer, resulting in them reverting to old habits (e.g. making decisions based on past experience).
This proposal combines the scientific expertise of TerraClim/Geosmart (SA) and PESSL INSTRUMENTS (Austria), with the commercial know-how and experience of METOS SA / Villa. This unique partnership will provide a solution for the successful rollout and commercialization of the products and services. By having in-time notification systems on pest detection, extreme weather warnings, water scheduling this project will be able to service all-size farming operations including small-scale farmers and large organizations.
The importance of weather monitoring devices
Weather monitoring is an integral aspect of farm management and the mitigation of climate change. Carina Olivier of METOS SA, explains that climate change has an enormous impact on changing patterns in agriculture. The last five year’s temperatures in South Africa have been the highest in 138 years. We must be prepared and informed about these changes so we can bring ideas and solutions to the grower.
“Weather stations on your farm are much more accurate than those located several kilometers from the farm. Our localized weather stations give accurate data and communicate with a computer or mobile app. Comparisons and more accurate predictions are thus made possible, which supports the grower’s decision-making process.”
Role of the project
It’s interesting to see the difference in the amount of rainfall for two days for a few of our stations in the Western Cape. It illustrates the importance of the Climate Smart Agriculture project in the Western Cape, where the terrain is so complex that a weather station will show different climatic conditions when compared to the one only a few kilometers away.
Our METOS SA weather station data feeds into the TerraClim platform for high-resolution climatic interpolations based on the terrain. This enables a grower to plan based on the terrain and historical weather data for his farm on a field level. It also shows how important hyper-localized weather data and forecasts are to make the best decisions in day-to-day farming operations.
Note: This news was first published by our colleagues and partners from Winfield United South Africa & METOS South Africa.