Schedule-it - The Farmer Mag - Weather Station
Schedule-it - The Farmer Mag - Weather Station Schedule-it - The Farmer Mag - Weather Station

AI Technology and Lightning Fast Weather Predictions

POSTED ON: March 12, 2024 IN News by Marcelle Orwin

As featured in The Farmer Magazine, Schedule-it discusses how having accurate weather and soil information allows farmers to improve efficiency and stay ahead of the pack.

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View Online: The Farmer Magazine March/April 2024

LIGHTNING-FAST PREDICTIONS

A lot of modern equipment can be monitored from your phone;  Brett Orwin from Schedule-It Irrigation out in the field testing the soil ‘weather’ as part of an advanced system for scheduling irrigation programs that are down to the millimetre.

SOIL WEATHER CRITICAL TO IRRIGATION EFFICIENCYAI-powered forecasting models are trained on historical weather data that goes back decades, which means they are great at predicting events that are similar to the weather of the past. As farmers would know, we are working in an era of increasingly unpredictable seasonal conditions.

SOIL WEATHER CRITICAL TO IRRIGATION EFFICIENCY

The weather tech revolution is also driving improvements in irrigation efficiency with businesses like Finley-based Schedule-It Irrigation able to generate seven-day crop watering programs that are down to the millimetre.

Schedule-It Irrigation uses the latest in soil moisture probe technology to combine soil ‘weather’ measurements with data from the monitoring of crop water usage, canopy temperature sensors, crop phenological models and weather forecasts.

Farmers can then adopt real-time irrigation recommendations using a cloud-based platform that can also provide season reports, in-field warnings, and monitoring of crop and water usage data by skilled irrigation scheduling specialists.

“Knowing the water status of your paddocks is essential to define the water needs of your crops according to the phenological stage and your crop management,” says owner Brett Orwin.

“This combined with your soil type, irrigation system parameters, soil moisture monitoring and weather factors are all used to set up an irrigation schedule that sets out the frequency and volume of water necessary to optimize water usage and crop health.” “This forecast is most useful if it includes at least a seven-day forecast in mm for broad acre cropping and hours for orchards and vineyard to irrigate. Irrigation forecasts giving exact values in mm or hour saves time and ensures accuracy and efficiency.”

On Farm Connectivity Rebate ProgramBrett and wife Marcelle established the business in 2021 with business partner Peter Brunt after moving from South Africa to the Riverina region to work in the agriculture sector.

The former dairy farmer and agronomist spent almost a decade working with irrigation scheduling technology in South Africa and decided to transfer those skills to the food bowl of NSW. “It’s about eliminating the guesswork from irrigation to conserve water, save time, and reduce costs,” Brett says.

Marcelle said they are proud to be a Program Partner in the federal government’s On Farm Connectivity Program, which provides eligible suppliers with up to a $30,000 rebate for sales of digital farming technology to eligible Primary Producers to help improve their connectivity and productivity.

“Eligible farmers can use the grant for something that will make a real difference on their farm, like adopting an agtech solution that tells you what to irrigate in millimetres or hours in real time to your phone or PC,” Marcelle says. “One of the grant program’s objectives is to get farmers to take advantage of advanced farming technology like we do to improve productivity.”

On Farm Connectivity Rebate Program

The Australian Government has put up a total of $30 million for the On Farm Connectivity Rebate Program over two years. Round 1 made $15 million available in 2023-24, with applications closing on 31 May 2024 or until funding is exhausted, whichever occurs first. The grant (rebate) amount will be up to 50 per cent of the cost of eligible equipment items.

Eligible Primary Producers can only access the program (and rebate) through an eligible Equipment Supplier like Schedule-It Irrigation.

Contact Schedule-It Irrigation on 0456 579 171 or email admin@schedule-it.com.au

Credit: The Farmer Magazine March/April 2024


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