Did you know that you can use your Ranch Systems weather data to calculate the water that is leaving your fields through evaporation and plant transpiration? Also known as evapotranspiration or ETo, this measurement will help you to visualize the amount of water leaving your fields each day and to irrigate accordingly. With the high cost of energy and farm labor, precise and accurate irrigation is key to maximizing your most critical crop input: Water! By conserving water, you not only manage your farm environment, but also achieve savings in time and labor costs. Most importantly, you ultimately produce a healthier crop!
The ETo calculation is publicly available from most state agriculture departments, but most public ETo measurements use data from regional weather stations that may or may not be maintained regularly. The most accurate calculations come from utilizing data from a weather station located on the irrigated land. This uses the local conditions specific to the crop and microclimate being farmed. You won’t even have to monitor your Ranch Systems weather station! You can set up your system to call you once the ETo passes a pre-set amount (or any other condition). Ranch Systems’ advanced alerting capability will tell you when the time is right on your field(s), or deliver a regularly scheduled text message to check in with sensor data at a certain time of day or in response to field events like high heat to meet OSHA reporting requirements.
Contact Ranch Systems today for more information on adding a weather station to your farm and begin saving time and money in your irrigation this year!
If you would like more information on evapotranspiration, visit the Irrigation Association Evaporation Resources. Available ETo resources include the detailed ASCE report on the standardized equation with recommendations for use, sample calculations and more. The regularly updated list of state resources is also available.