Ag Weather Net

Ag Weather Net

Frost Model for AgWeatherNet. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.
Knowing what the weather will be can be crucial to ag producers and tree fruit is very susceptible to things like a hard frost. Gerrit Hoogenboom, director of AgWeatherNet and a WSU professor in agrometeorology says they have developed a new frost model.

HOOGENBOOM: We received some funding from the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission to purchase somewhat of a high performance computer which we recently installed here in Prosser and we’re now running a model once a day in a trial basis comparing the predictions with the observations from AgWeatherNet to see how well the model performs. And what needs to be done to fine tune it or adjust it so it does better especially during extreme events such as frost and freeze events and maybe even high temperature events during the summer.

Each year ag producers keep a close eye on weather conditions during the time of year when frost can damage new fruit and Hoogenboom says anyone can access the information.

HOOGENBOOM: All the information is freely available and some of the features you currently don’t have to log into. If you want to retrieve more detailed information you actually have to log into the webpage but again it only requires to set up a user ID and password and the information is freely available.

The project is funded by various grants and through funds from various commodity groups who see the importance of the research.

HOOGENBOOM: We really wanted to announce that we’re working on this activity and we hope that we will be able to make at least these predictions available within the next 6 to 12 months.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.  

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