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Media release: Tailored weather forecasting for farmers

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) has launched a weather forecasting system for individual farms at the New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek this week.

Called FarmMet, the forecasting system provides farmers with accurate, up-to-date weather forecasts specific to their property.

NIWA’s expert team of scientists and meteorologists will be on hand at the NIWA stand in the main pavilion throughout Fieldays, to demonstrate the forecasting programme and explain how farmers can use the system to make better decisions to improve the profitability of their farms.

FarmMet is aimed at helping farmers weigh up risk and make decisions on day-to-day farming practices such as when to move stock, when to irrigate or spray or when to protect against potentially damaging weather like heavy rainfall, snow, frost or high winds.

FarmMet works by capturing data from the climate stations closest to an individual farm and using that to tailor a forecast to farmers delivered straight to their computer. Using this highly tailored system, NIWA can create a different forecasts for properties as little as 12km apart.

This latest, highly accurate, up-to-date and specific forecasting system is backed by NIWA’s internationally recognised weather and climate science expertise and by the modelling and capabilities of one of the most powerful supercomputers of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

FarmMet is available to farmers on a subscription basis.

Visitors to the stand also have the opportunity to go into a draw to win an iPad and one year’s subscription to FarmMet.

NIWA Chief Scientist Murray Poulter said farmers increasingly relied on accurate weather forecasts to plan key work programmes on their properties.

“FarmMet is a precise, easy-to-use tool that can help farmers with weather-related decisions they need to make on the farm. It uses scientific data to deliver local weather information and a range of forecasts from two to 15 days out.”

Farmers at Fieldays can get a one-on-one demonstration of FarmMet in action at their farm by simply coming to NIWA’s stand in the main pavilion. 

See the Farm Trader team at Fieldays 2014, at site D35. Subscribe at our special Fieldays price and receive great prizes!

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