Ag Excellence Alliance receives funding for weather stations

Geoff Brock.

Geoff Brock.

Ag Excellence Alliance have received funding to install 40 solar-powered weather stations for the Mid North and Clare Valley. 

In December Ag Excellence Alliance had an automatic weather station installed at the Hart Field Site, Hart, with thanks to a government grant. 

This project has now been boosted again through additional funding to install 40 stations across the region. 

The automatic weather station is set up to identify potentially hazardous inversion times – when different pockets of air, hot or cold, meet and can create spray drift issues – and allow farmers to have the correct knowledge when it came to wind speeds and temperatures. 

Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock announced the funding on Tuesday. 

“After meeting with stakeholders and advocating for this pilot project to be supported I am pleased to see The Ag Excellence Alliance receive funding which will see 40 solar-powered weather stations installed at selected sites...” Mr Brock said. 

Locations have been identified for 37 of the stations so far, with 14 in the Mid North area, 10 in the Adelaide Plains, nine in the Clare Valley, and four in the northern Yorke Peninsula.

“The weather stations will provide farmers with highly accurate and localised data about atmospheric stability.

“This information will allow farmers to avoid spraying pesticides when weather conditions indicate spray drift is likely,” he said. 

Estimates put the potential loss in production value from spray drift in the Mid North to be about  $178 million a year if not addressed.

The first four stations are expected to be installed by the middle of 2018 with the network scheduled to be in place by September 2019.