An online tool released this spring crunches data about soil, weather and crop type to help farmers in Washington irrigate fields efficiently. Washington State University researchers developed Irrigation Scheduler Mobile.
The tool can be accessed from a mobile device or computer and draws on nearly 140 weather stations located throughout Washington. Those stations, known collectively as AgWeatherNet, monitor factors such as precipitation, humidity and wind speed.
"In the past, AgWeatherNet’s emphasis has been on providing current and historical weather data," stated AgWeatherNet director Gerrit Hoogenboom, a project partner, in a news release. "Now the goal is to add more support tools."
Farmers begin by creating a free account online, selecting the nearest weather station and entering their soil and crop types. They can also identify how much water has been applied to a crop. In turn, farmers get information such as color-coded warnings about low moisture levels, root-zone depth and estimated yield loss resulting from water stress.
More information is available by going to weather.wsu.edu/is/.