METOS is helping UK farmers to make better-informed decisions about fungicide applications, through highly accurate sensors which collect climatic data live from the field, combined with effective disease modelling, based on the latest research.
METOS UK distributor Ben Burgess is helping its agricultural clients remotely monitor crops and climate, and using that data to make smart decisions on-farm. This video explains how rural businesses in Norfolk are benefitting from METOS equipment supplied by Ben Burgess, through the new Norfolk and Suffolk Innovation Network, the UK’s largest public sector long range wide-area (LoRaWAN) network.
Pessl Instruments, the company behind METOS® brand wireless, solar-powered monitoring systems, has reported an upsurge in the number of remote monitoring stations requested around the world, due to the impact of Coronavirus and the need for farmers and agronomists to reduce unnecessary travel.
Gottfried Pessl, President and Founder of Pessl Instruments, explains that the closure of non-essential companies and travel restrictions has made remote field monitoring systems an urgent requirement for many farmers and growers.
“Every trip to the field costs time and money, but during the coronavirus outbreak it may be impossible to check on all crops. Remote field monitoring systems allow farmers and agronomists to reduce field visits to only when they are really necessary,” he says.
“We are already receiving an increase in orders. For example, large tomato growers in the US and Turkey want to install more soil moisture monitoring systems, alongside remote monitoring of insects, climatic conditions, soil nutrition and workforce tracking.”
“Installing this equipment now will allow them to improve their risk management, while protecting the crop, the environment, their workers and continue to provide food to the population.”
In the UK, the Rural Payments Agency has paused farm inspections, while globally, the GLOBALG.A.P standards setting organisation has extended certificates for six months, because inspectors are unable to travel to farms to perform audits.
“I believe that in the future, permanent and mobile Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, such as remote monitoring, will help government and standards agencies collect some of the data they need to make sure the food we eat is safe, without needing to travel so frequently,” says Gottfried.
Pessl Instruments is a leading global manufacturer of IoTs for farmers, including weather stations, soil moisture systems, insect traps, crop growth cameras, portable soil and tissue laboratories, trackers of various kinds, and the relevant decision support software.
“Every day we support over 100,000 users of our FieldClimate decision support software, who are connected to one or more of the 50,000 stations installed worldwide.”
“Globally, there are tens of thousands of agronomists and consultants helping farmers with sometimes daily visits to their fields. We believe this will change after the Coronavirus crisis ends, and remote monitoring will increasingly be used for these tasks,” suggests Gottfried.
IoT technology has been available for the past 20 years, but has only been used by a small percentage of farmers. Remote monitoring is not the future, it already exists.
“Installing such IoT technology on farms will help farmers and their agronomists to identify problems immediately, without needing to visit the field. In some cases, it may even provide greater accuracy than a visual inspection can reveal. Real-time alerts from weather stations allow farmers and consultants to make immediate decisions based on actual field weather conditions.”
Conveniently, METOS® IoT remote weather stations and sensors are very easy to install. So farmers can take advantage of the technology now, to help them manage their crops during the current Coronavirus lockdown, and in the future.
With some areas of the UK seeing record levels of rainfall, causing widespread flooding, landslides and significant travel disruptions, parts of the UK are now in recovery mode in an attempt to salvage homes and businesses.
Farmland is also incredibly vulnerable during extreme weather conditions, even to the point where there is expected to be an increase in food costs in the new year due to ruined potato and brassica crops.
In this blog, we’re going to be exploring how to reduce the risk of flood damage on farmlands.
Preparing Your Farm for Floods
There are many variables when working on the land that aren’t within your control, and extreme weather conditions are one such variable.
However, there are plenty of small tasks that you can undertake to help prepare your land and reduce the risk of damage, such as:
Preparing a Flood Plan
As a farm and landowner, it’s crucial to create a clear picture of how you and your staff will deal with the threat of a flood. The ideal way to do this is by creating a farm flood plan. This plan highlights all of the important information and actions you and your staff will need to act upon if faced with the impending threat of a flood.
Once you’ve finalised your plan, you’ll need to distribute this to everyone who works on the land to ensure they’re familiar with your procedures.
Generally speaking, your flood plan should answer the following questions:
Preparing Your Home for Floods
As is almost always the case for farm owners, their farm is not only their livelihood but their home too. If your farm sits within an area prone to flooding, you will also need to consider how you will protect your home.
If you live on the farmland, you will need to ensure that your flood plan includes steps to safeguard your home.
This should include:
The most important thing to remember is not to enter floodwater unless you’re told to do so by emergency services, as it could contain contaminants and hidden dangers.
How Can Smart Technology Help Farms?
At METOS, our smart weather stations can collect real-time metrics such as air moisture, temperature changes and wind speed to assess the climate around your farm. This data can be invaluable for farmers and landowners since it offers them tangible details on which they can base their decisions.
Whether you need to know about flood warnings, overnight frost temperatures, moisture levels within the soil or extreme dry spells to ensure the land is in the right condition to work on; then our iMETOS weather station will help you make your next move.
The farming industry is one that relies heavily on the weather; the UK especially is prone to erratic weather patterns, which means that an unexpected flood or cold snap, could severely impact a farms revenue stream
Whilst the iMETOS brand is certainly not new, METOS UK is. Launched at the end of 2018 to help British farmers and growers, METOS UK is an official Pessl Instruments subsidiary in UK. Let me introduce myself and the company to you. In a nutshell, we exist to offer you excellent weather monitoring technology coupled with experienced UK support.
I’m David Whattoff, Managing Director of METOS UK and an ex Lincolnshire farmer. In fact, I was a Director of our family farming business for 27 years. I know only too well the frustrations that variable weather gives farmers and growers. I too have taken a gamble on when to fertilise and when to harvest – not always getting it right; impacting on my costs.
My agricultural career then took me to SOYL Precision Farming for 8 years. As Agricultural Development Manager, I saw the real benefit of harnessing new technology to deliver a high performance. You could reduce the guesswork and find new ways to increase yields.
2018 presented me with an opportunity of a lifetime. To develop a UK business providing professional weather and climate monitoring technology that truly addresses many of the frustrations that I used to experience first-hand on the farm.
And so, METOS UK was born.
As our weather becomes increasingly unpredictable, I’m determined to help as many farmers and growers as possible make informed decisions. Decisions that will enable them to grow profitability, whilst keeping a handle on their costs.
You might be a family farming business, or you could be a much larger operation. Whatever your agricultural business, the growth potential from being fully connected to your weather is huge. Proactive farmers are using technology like this every day. It’s critical to their business operations. And for good reason.
You can buy a wide variety of weather stations. So, why METOS UK? The answer is simple. Born from a long-established global company, Pessl Instruments GmbH, that has invested heavily in agricultural R&D, METOS UK is completely in tune with the needs of farmers and growers. You’re not just one of many markets we serve. You are the market we serve!
Our professional range of hardware and software is built to last. Many iMETOS stations are expandable too, using both WiFi and LPWAN. You can store more than a year’s data to help you with analysis and use far more sensors from one system. Few weather stations are as capable as iMETOS weather stations.
And if your business relies on this technology, it has to be good.
But METOS UK is about knowledgeable service too. We have many UK stockists – they too focus on agriculture. They can help you to decide what system is right for your business. And they’re keen to work with you to get you results.
Of course, I’m always at the end of the phone too, with my experience and knowledge to hand. We’re a British business, forging strong relationships with farming companies in the UK. We’d love to find out how we could help your agricultural business to perform better.
To start a conversation with us, please view our UK stockists page or contact me directly. We’d be delighted to help you.