Spring is coming – tune up your weather stations

The 2019 growing season will be here in another few weeks. Now is the perfect time to give your Rainwise weather stations a tune-up. Use the checklist below to make sure you are getting the best possible data feed from your machine.

If your Rainwise station is getting old (>6 years) consider replacing the machine if this decision suits your farm management needs. A 2017 online survey of current NEWA users found that 75% of growers are saving money on their spray bill with average annual savings of $4,329 from reduced pesticide applications and $33,048 in avoided crop losses.

To get in touch with Rainwise support for station servicing or replacement of your weather station sensor assembly please reach out to the RainWise Inc. Service Department for consultation by phone (207) 801-4039 or email service@rainwise.com.

Contact support@newa.zendesk.com with other questions regarding the online NEWA platform at newa.cornell.edu.

Spring weather station tune up checklist

Set a maintenance schedule. Check your weather station every 2 or 3 weeks through the growing season. Choose dates in advance and add to your calendar or planner.

Clean the solar radiation sensor. The diffuser can be cleaned with a damp cloth. Replace the sensor if has turned yellow.

Check the anemometer and weather vane. Make sure the anemometer (spinning fan) and weather vane move freely in all directions. Set the weather vane to zero on due North.

Check the leaf wetness sensor. Examine the plastic board and electrodes for corrosion, cracking or weathering damage.

Check the relative humidity sensor. Verify the accuracy of RH measurements by looking at NEWA values on mornings that are rainy or have heavy dew.

Clean the rain gauge. Remove leaves, nests, insect, spider webs and other debris. Set a schedule. Watch this video and learn more about tipping bucket maintenance.

NYS Mesonet: 2018 year in review

2018 marked the first year of collaboration between the Network for Environment and Weather Applications (NEWA), which is part of the New York State IPM Program at Cornell University, and University at Albany’s New York State Mesonet (NYSM). In March, ten data streams (table 1, figure 1) were established to link NYSM-generated weather data to the NEWA online agricultural decision support system, available for use by agricultural stakeholders across New York State. 2018 was successful, as demonstrated by metrics provided in table 2. 2019 is sure to attract more users to these locations on NEWA as awareness grows of their availability.

The successful collaboration between NEWA and NYS Mesonet was also featured as a showcase in the New York State IPM Program 2017-18 Annual Report. The report can be downloaded from this Cornell eCommons permalink:

NYSIPM 2017-18 Annual Report: https://hdl.handle.net/1813/60613

Table 1. NYS Mesonet weather stations streaming data to NEWA in 2018.

Municipality County Mesonet ID NEWA page
Burt Niagara burt http://newa.cornell.edu/index.php?page=weather-station-page&WeatherStation=nysm_burt
Cobleskill Schoharie cobl http://newa.cornell.edu/index.php?page=weather-station-page&WeatherStation=nysm_cobl
Fredonia Chautauqua fred http://newa.cornell.edu/index.php?page=weather-station-page&WeatherStation=nysm_fred
Laurens Otsego laur http://newa.cornell.edu/index.php?page=weather-station-page&WeatherStation=nysm_laur
Sherburne Chenango sher http://newa.cornell.edu/index.php?page=weather-station-page&WeatherStation=nysm_sher
South Bristol Ontario sbri http://newa.cornell.edu/index.php?page=weather-station-page&WeatherStation=nysm_sbri
Southold Suffolk sout http://newa.cornell.edu/index.php?page=weather-station-page&WeatherStation=nysm_sout
Sprakers Montgomery spra http://newa.cornell.edu/index.php?page=weather-station-page&WeatherStation=nysm_spra
Stephentown Rensselear step http://newa.cornell.edu/index.php?page=weather-station-page&WeatherStation=nysm_step
Voorheesville Albany voor http://newa.cornell.edu/index.php?page=weather-station-page&WeatherStation=nysm_voor

 

Figure 1. NYS Mesonet station linked to the NEWA platform.

New York State Mesonet Agricultural Impact

Table 2. Summarized impact metrics, across all linked NYSM locations, that originated from IP addresses within New York between March 1 2018 and December 31 2018.

Impact metric Total
Unique users 190
Unique sessions 465
Unique pageviews 3524
Sessions per user (average) 2.4
Pageviews per user (average) 18.5
Contact hours 59h 29m
Contact minutes per user (ave) 19m
Contact minutes per session (ave) 8m

 

 

 

 

Canny Climatologist Codes his Way to Excellence in IPM Award

Media contact: Juliet E. Carroll | Office: 315-787-2430 | jec3@cornell.edu

For photos: nysipm.cornell.edu/about/we-give-awards/2018-excellence-ipm-award-winners/keith-eggleston/

GENEVA NY, January 17, 2019: Keith Eggleston, a climatologist with the Northeast Regional Climate Center (NRCC) received an Excellence in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Award from the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYSIPM) at the Empire State Producers’ Expo in Syracuse. NYSIPM develops sustainable ways to manage pests and helps people to use methods that minimize environmental, health and economic risks. The award honors individuals who encourage the adoption of IPM in their businesses, schools, communities, and farms, and who develop new tools and tactics for sharing these practices.

Begun in 1995 by NYSIPM, the Network for Environment and Weather App’s (NEWA) delivers weather information from farm-based weather stations from Minnesota to New Hampshire to North Carolina, and feeds it into more than 40 pest forecasting and crop production tools. NEWA’s weather data summaries and IPM forecasts give farmers the best information to make scientifically based decisions about how to best manage pests. NEWA is highly valued by New York fruit and vegetable growers—largely thanks to Eggleston’s diligence and expertise.

How did Eggleston help? He wrote the code for the IPM forecast models on NEWA’s website, newa.cornell.edu. Successful? Yes! These IPM tools work so well that NEWA expanded from around 40 to over 600 weather stations and from one state to 14. The pest forecasts help farmers in NY and other states predict when pests might strike and how severe that strike might be—saving them both from spraying and from losing sleep.

Dan Olmstead, NEWA Coordinator, notes that “Keith’s understanding of programming languages, weather, climate, and the NEWA users themselves serves as a foundation for our collaborative success.”

Eggleston’s colleagues admire his insights into the nuances of climate data, and his eternal vigilance regarding bug fixes, stalled models, and metadata rescue. They have referred to him as a ‘miracle worker’ and ‘tech guru’. Put more simply: Eggleston makes sure that users are happy and NEWA data and model outputs are of the highest quality.

Eggleston has a unique perspective on agriculture—his father was a Vocational Ag teacher and FFA Advisor; he himself a member of the agricultural fraternity, Alpha Zeta, at Cornell University. “I have always had an affinity for agriculture and have found it very satisfying to be able to help develop models that will be useful in the farming community,” he said.

Olmstead added, “Keith’s real strength comes from his endless patience, calm thinking, collaborative spirit, and tenacity—all of which creates synergy… NEWA continues to grow rapidly because the tools Keith built stand the test of time and end-user scrutiny.”

Art DeGaetano, director of the NRCC, characterized Eggleston as the glue that connects NEWA and NRCC. He said, “Among the scientists involved with NEWA, Keith is the trusted voice …concerning how a model should be implemented, the design of the model, or even the proper data to use, Keith’s respectful expertise is the catalyst for reaching common ground and achieving excellence.”

Learn more about Integrated Pest Management at nysipm.cornell.edu.