Manitoba expands network of ag weather stations
By Top Crop Manager
Jan 8, 2016 - The Canada and Manitoba governments are expanding the province's network of automated weather stations after installing 17 new stations in 2015.
Manitoba has a total of 61 automated weather stations operated by the provincial government that provide timely, detailed information useful to Manitoba farmers, free of charge. By 2018, the agro-meteorology program will expand to 84 stations.
Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn noted climate change and moisture management as issues raised in the Agriculture Risk Management task force report, which was released in early 2016. An expanded network will give farmers important information on soil conditions, risk assessment for crop diseases and insects, and support decision-making for the crop-residue burning program.
These automated stations are located in areas that best represent the climate of the region. They are solar-powered and communicate wirelessly, allowing them to be set up in remote and rural areas. Measurements of air temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, wind speed and direction and soil temperature are collected, verified and posted to the provincial website hourly. Data from these weather stations will also be used to enhance flood and drought forecasting, precipitation maps, and monitoring severe weather.
Funding for the expansion of the agro-meteorology program comes from Growing Forward 2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets.