Digital technology has transformed industries across the globe – from manufacturing and construction to communications. But the agriculture sector has been fairly slow in embracing new tech innovations.
Nevertheless, the modernization of agriculture is crucial for curbing the impending global food shortage. Farmers have to focus on maximizing yield and revenue while consuming fewer resources.
While that sounds easy on paper, the increasing frequency of extreme weather events is going to have an adverse impact on agriculture farms across the globe.
Farmers rely on seasonal changes in temperature, humidity, and other weather conditions to outline seeding and harvesting schedules. As these changes become more unpredictable, the agriculture industry is expected to struggle with low yield and diminished resources.
That’s where hyperlocal weather forecasting steps into the picture.
Instead of relying on generic weather data from radars and satellites, hyperlocal weather platforms provide accurate forecasts for specific locations. It’s the kind of information that’ll empower farmers to optimize resource allocation and crop cycles.
In the following section, we’ll delve deeper into hyperlocal weather forecasting, and understand its impact on the agriculture industry. Let’s dive right in.
Hyperlocal Weather Forecasting: An Overview
Traditional weather intelligence platforms collect data from satellites and radar systems stationed across the globe. It gives them a glimpse into the weather conditions in different states and countries.
That kind of information comes in handy for individuals who are planning to travel abroad or organize an outdoor event.
But when it comes to industries, such as agriculture and transportation, generalized weather forecasts can only do so much.
Knowing that a cyclone is building up in the nearest ocean isn’t enough. Farmers need granular details, such as whether the cyclone will make landfall near their farm. Even if that isn’t the case, they’d want to know precisely when and how much it’s going to rain on their farm.
Regular weather forecasting platforms aren’t equipped to provide that kind of information.
Hyperlocal weather intelligence systems overcome that limitation by converting closer-to-ground infrastructure into virtual weather sensors. They collect data from various devices, such as street cameras, smart bins, cell phone towers, etc., to generate weather forecasts for specific areas, such as a building, construction site, or farm.
Let’s say a farm is located somewhere in the UK. With hyperlocal weather forecasting, you don’t just get access to UK’s weather data. Instead, farmers can check precise weather conditions near the location of their farms.
Better still, they get access to hourly breakdowns of temperature, precipitation, and wind speed. It gives them a closer glimpse of how the weather will vary throughout the day. That, in turn, facilitates smarter decision-making in terms of resource allocation, pest management, harvesting, and transportation of crops.
Modernizing Agriculture With Hyperlocal Weather Forecasts
A recent survey shows that 90% of crop losses happen due to bad weather. As weather conditions become more erratic and extreme, adopting hyperlocal weather technology is the only way forward for the agriculture sector.
With hyperlocal weather forecasts, farmers can preempt any drastic changes in temperature or humidity. That, in turn, will help them identify the right time for planting seeds and harvesting crops. It’ll eliminate the need to rely on weather patterns and trends from previous years.
Moreover, having access to precise data will help farmers identify the best-fit crops that’ll survive in impending weather conditions. They can even implement suitable preventive measures to protect crops from extreme weather.
Efficient Resource Utilization
The availability of water plays a key role in keeping crops healthy and ensuring high yield. The growing frequency of extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and droughts, makes it difficult for farmers to rely on natural sources of water.
Hyperlocal weather forecasts help them make alternate irrigation arrangements at the right time. It ensures that crops aren’t affected by an abundance or lack of adequate water supply.
Similarly, farmers can utilize weather data to identify the optimal time for applying pesticides and fertilizers. They can avoid situations where freshly sprayed pesticides are washed off after a bout of heavy rainfall, or high wind speeds carry fertilizers to nearby fields, affecting the crops there.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the global population will rise to 9.7 billion by 2050. It demands a 70% increase in food production to alleviate poverty and hunger.
That makes it imperative for the agriculture sector to start utilizing hyperlocal weather intelligence platforms to increase yield and reduce wastage.