It is a well-established fact that weather is the most influential and impactful variable in water and nutrient management decision making. In an effort to bring more local weather information to our producers, the EOT SWCD installed its first weather station in Perham in the early 90's. This station brought hourly data to the fingertips of our producers and helped guide management decisions that were profitable for the producer and better for the environment. The only problem? This was one weather station in a county that encompasses over 2,000 square miles, and as we all well know, weather can be different right across the road!
In 2011, Clean Water funding made it possible for us to partner with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to expand our weather network to a regional area beyond Perham, extending the availability of local data to even more producers in and out of Otter Tail County. Even better data over a larger area meant better guidance on when and where to apply fertilizers and/or irrigation water on more land in the region.
A few years back (2014-2015) the SWCD and the City of Perham partnered to create the Central MN Ag Weather Network. Long story short, there wasn’t adequate funding to support and maintain the Central MN Ag Weather Network to our standards. In an effort to expand the networks' usefulness, the EOT SWCD, the MDA, and the North Dakota Ag Weather Network (NDAWN) started a collaboration to collect and provide useful data in a convenient and easy-to-use manner. This collaboration has had challenges of it’s own, such as matching weather station programs, equipment upgrades, and website programming, but ultimately has brought useful information to more people.
Today, we have more exciting news! NDAWN has fully integrated our 12 weather stations into their website. Up until this point, our 12 weather stations were only available on the current weather page of the NDAWN site. What does this mean for you? It means our stations have access to all of the applications available on the NDAWN website such as Corn Growing Degree Days (GDD), Crop Water Use, Soybean GDD, Wheat/Small Grain Disease Forecaster, just to name a few.
Weather stations in our area include:
Check it out for yourself at https://ndawn.ndsu.nodak.edu/.
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