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10 Mar 2023

Sencrop - where to place your connected weather station?

Connected weather stations are a solution that now days accompanies many farmers in the daily management of their agricultural work. Live weather data, forecasts, frost and disease alerts or irrigation data, the data provided by these stations is numerous. However, to ensure their accuracy and reliability, one of the first steps is to ensure that the station is properly installed, particularly in the chosen location.

Local weather and the challenge of where to install your weather stations

Connected weather stations give you access to ultra-local, accurate and live weather data from your plots. For this data to be accurate and reliable, it is necessary to know where to place your connected weather station on your farm. You may have one or more stations to cover larger or smaller areas of land. If you have one station to cover all your land, it is necessary to choose a location that will best represent all your plots. On the other hand, if you have several stations, it is up to you to place them according to the micro-climates that you have been able to identify in the heart of your farm. The weather is indeed an ultra-local phenomenon and climatic differences can be observed from one of your plots to another. It is necessary that the weather station is placed in the heart of the agricultural plot and not in the heart of the farm building. Indeed, the weather in a farm building may not be representative of the weather on your plots. Place your station so that you can collect data from the place where you do your farming. Choosing the right location on your farm is necessary in order to :
  • Monitor your weather readings locally and accurately
  • Carry out your interventions such as spraying and irrigation in optimal conditions (hygrometry, wind, etc.). Meteorological data such as rainfall has a high spatial variability and can therefore differ between your farm and your plots. This is why it is necessary to access ultra-local data.
  • Access your weather history and match it to your yields. This will allow you to anticipate your potential future yields by comparing current and historical weather.

The main criteria for choosing a location

The right choice of location for a weather station is therefore necessary to ensure its proper functioning and to collect data that best represents your farm. Here are some criteria that apply to all your Sencrop stations :

Distance to obstacles

Obstacles such as vegetation (trees, hedges, etc.), buildings or any other construction can distort the data collected by your stations. Depending on your stations, we recommend different minimum distances to these obstacles :
  • Raincrop : at least 2 times the height of the first obstacle. An obstacle could act as a windbreak and protect the Raincrop from rain
  • Solarcrop and Windcrop : at least 10 times the height of the first obstacle. It could create shade or disturb the airflow.

The quality of your network

Sencrop stations allow you to connect to the low speed network (Sigfox and LoRa), covering 94% of the national territory. Make sure your network is of good quality at the location of your Sencrop station so that data from the station can be sent directly to your application.

The station must be level

Good installation means good anchoring (the station must be level). At Sencrop, every station has a built-in levelling bubble to make sure it is properly installed.

Rain and wind data should be separated

When using precision tools, there is no question of compromising on the quality of the data. Each measurement should be taken at the best location, without compromising the readings. To avoid interference from obstacles, it is important to place the rain gauge and anemometer separately in your fields. Especially since the wind measurement will probably be more important to you if it comes from the windiest side.

Please note that each station has its own specificities!

In addition to the general recommendations for all our stations, here are some specific recommendations for each of them concerning their installation location :

The Raincrop

  • Place at a distance from any water, forest or wood that could modify the hygrometry data measured by the Raincrop.
  • Place on flat and horizontal ground.

The Leafcrop

  • Place the leaf-shaped sensor inside the foliage to record the area with the highest humidity.
  • Place the sensors under cover, where you want to take your measurements. This can be as close as possible to the buds, for example.
  • Place the box as high as possible and outside the foliage to optimise the reception of the network.

The Windcrop

  • Place the arm so that it faces north.
  • Place the station on flat, horizontal ground.

The Solarcrop

  • Place the Solarcrop on the Windcrop and close to the Raincrop. These two stations should be at least 2 metres apart. The purpose of the Solarcrop is to guide you in controlling your irrigation. For this purpose, rainfall, humidity (Raincrop) and wind speed (Windcrop) data are required.
Conclusion : Weather is a key factor in agricultural production, but is highly variable both spatially and temporally. Therefore, Sencrop provides farmers with access to accurate weather data via its weather stations. In order to ensure that they are working properly and that reliable data is collected, please make sure to follow all of our guidelines on where to install your station. To find out more about where and how to install each of your stations, visit Sencrop's FAQ or YouTube channel.  
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