Increase the agricultural production efficiency using METEOTREK®

Lots of agricultural companies already use weather stations. However, one has to know how to process data received using these devices. Without analytical processing, this data is not so useful.

Two years ago, the first weather station METEOTREK® was tested. However, the product went on sale only last autumn. The hardware version is not final. The product is constantly updated and modernized.

METEOTREK® is a product of cooperation between BITREK® and IT INNOVATIONS. BITREK®, a leading Ukrainian electronics, GPS trackers, and other hardware manufacturer, produced a weather station equipped with a variety of sensors. Such kind of weather station is just a box packed with a huge array of data. It was necessary to somehow process the data to provide agrarians with useful information. IT INNOVATIONS, a software developer for the weather station, joined the cause to provide the solution to the issue. As a result, METEOTREK® was created.

Sometime before, any partner of our plant and any integrator could buy the weather station and resell it. Now, we have an exclusive agreement. The weather stations are sold exclusively to us, and we sell them to the partners of BITREK®, our partners and customers,

Leonid Vlasov, CCO at IT INNOVATIONS

Leonid Vlasov

Leonid Vlasov, CCO at IT INNOVATIONS

With its product, the company got on the MHP accelerator. There METEOTREK® got acquainted with the SmartFarming Company. In the communication process, some ideas about the product modifications appeared. They included mobile weather stations for machinery and autonomous moisture and precipitation sensors.

SmartFarming is a company integrally approaching the agricultural production to increase production efficiency. The guys do not try to sell one of their products. They offer the client a solution that will be most efficient.

SmartFarming carries out some tasks independently or in cooperation with partners. In particular, they cooperate with us on weather stations

Meteodata is one of the factors affecting the agricultural production efficient management. A weather station, just like drones or soil chemical analysis, provides analytical data necessary for agriculture efficiency improvement,

Leonid Vlasov, CCO at IT INNOVATIONS

What should be put under control in the field?

Operation planning.

Among the main values of the weather station is that it both collects data and provides a short-term weather forecast.

Many operations in the field require specific weather conditions. Therefore, it is important for agrarians to have correct data to plan all operations. The accurate weather forecast will allow choosing the optimal conditions to achieve maximum efficiency of the operations performed.

Monitoring of conditions for operations performed

METEOTREK® allows both planning and controlling the performance of agricultural operations. For example, the temperature conditions in the field and close to the farm, where weather stations are often installed, can vary considerably. In the former case, it is an open area, and in the latter one, shaded areas happen. A situation may occur when it is actually not possible to perform the operation. However, according to the weather station, the operation is possible.

The machinery operator performing the operation may be unaware of meteorological conditions which do not conform to the norms. Moreover, even if he actually knows about it, he may perform the operation on purpose not to decrease their production. There is a solution to this issue.

Along with the main weather station, METEOTREK® offers to install temperature, wind speed, and air humidity sensors on the machinery performing operations in the field. Data on weather conditions, picked up by these sensors, is continuously displayed on a tablet PC or smartphone installed in the tractor cab. The same data is sent to the company’s dispatcher or logistician to the telematics software utilized. Consequently, if the machinery operator decides to violate the established procedure, he should understand that the data on his actions will be sent to the database.

Plant protection products entail the most substantial expenditure from agrarians. Most agribusinesses utilize conventional trailed sprayers in their production. Re-equipping, the available machinery, it is possible to save up to 20% of PPP. This effect is achieved by a number of measures, and meteorological sensors installed directly on the machinery are among them.

Plant disease prevention.

The weather stations allow agrarians to respond to the risk of diseases in a timely manner. Plants have phenological phases. There is a possibility of disease in a specific phase. The combination of meteorological factors can affect plants’ health. If farmers possess accurate meteorological data, they are able to plan preventive measures before the disease occurs. Take weather conditions into account and the crop losses caused by diseases will get lower.

Seasonal yields analysis.

Correct fertilizer and PPP applicationis another important aspect. Chemicals are expensive. Consequently, it is necessary to reasonably approach the process of their application.

Sometimes different fields but with the same potential and with the same technological operations applied, produce different yields. Many factors are affecting the results, including adverse weather conditions.

Very often, the precipitation control is carried out using conventional graduated flasks. Agronomists record the precipitation amount on a specific day, and then, they summarize all the measurements. In the end, everything depends on the agronomists and on their accuracy when entering data. Thus, poor crop yields may be justified by unfavorable weather conditions, though the true reason for the crop failure is a lack of plant protection products or fertilizers,

Vlasov explains

The problem can be solved by installing a precipitation level control module. The device works autonomously from the built-in battery which can last for several years. The device collects data on the precipitation amount and immediately sends it to the server in real time. This METEOTREK® solution is several times cheaper than the weather station itself. Such an ingenious device will help farmers carry out better analytics on the season results. In particular, to determine if weather conditions influenced the harvest quality or the reason was in something different.

What factors does METEOTREK® read?

The weather station allows collecting data on air temperature and humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind speed and direction, precipitation amount, the amount of moisture on the leaf surface (the leaf moisture sensor is used in horticulture), and soil temperature and humidity.

Meteotrek indicates

The weather station can be optionally refitted with a pyranometer – a solar radiation sensor. It can determine the solar radiation amount – an important parameter to be used when calculating water application norms in irrigation. The parameter shows the moisture evaporation rate from the soil surface and leaf surface – evapotranspiration.

While working with soil, it makes sense to measure temperature and humidity on several horizons. There are two types of soil moisture sensors: one shows the soil moisture content, the other one indicates soil moisture head (moisture availability for plant roots).

However, neither of the mentioned sensors is an indicator for agronomists by itself. Agronomists focus on dynamics: the way humidity decreases or increases. This data is important for areas with irrigation. Depending on the soil humidity, the decision is made to turn the irrigation system on or off.

Weather portal for agronomists

In the nearest future, the company plans to launch a weather portal for agronomists. The website will collect data on all Ukrainian regions, presenting weather forecast for the next 3 days as well. The forecast accuracy reaches 90%.

The main portal feature is the ability to adjust the forecast depending on the area. If the user has their own weather station, they can get a more specific forecast for their location. The general forecast data are corrected taking into account the data picked up by this weather station.

The portal will provide a forecast for a region, district, and for a specified location. This forecast will be the most accurate within a 4-kilometer radius for each installed weather station. This forecast will allow determining the most favorable hours for operations, for example, for PPP application,

says Leonid Vlasov

The solution is implemented the simple way – the data from the weather station are sent to the processing center. The forecast is corrected there. And then, the data is displayed either in the portal interface or integrated into the client software.

Directions for METEOTREK® solutions further development

METEOTREK® is not just a data array. It is also a method of the respective data integration into the company’s processes,

says Leonid Vlasov

The company is working to develop services. The goal is to collect the weather data and process it to make recommendations. Based on these recommendations, agribusinesses will be able to make decisions.

PPP application analytical support and irrigation management are the directions which the company will develop in the near future.

PPP application operations monitoring chart

PPP application operations monitoring chart, done using METEOTREK®®

The solution from METEOTREK® will allow determining optimal meteorological conditions for PPP application, resulting in their reasonable utilization rates. Moreover, the humidity sensor data will be used to control the irrigation system and conduct efficient irrigation.

In addition, the statistical reports received allow correlating further plans and prospects. All important statistic data is stored in the system, and it can be used at any time.

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Clients and Partners

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