A new range of in-field sensors is said to offer a more effective way to improve efficiencies in fungicide use and irrigation – helping to keep down costs.
The LoRAIN range from Metos UK includes three models offering a range of measurements. They can be used in any combination either individually, or as a network across multiple fields to give greater information over a wider area.
David Whattoff from Metos UK says: “With no annual subscription, low-cost LoRain sensors can be installed in every field for the season, moved each year, and provide information on key conditions to help farmers optimise their input spend.”
The entry-level Rain model measures rainfall only, while the mid-range LoRain model adds temperature and humidity sensors. This extra data allows users to ascertain disease risk based on previous climatic conditions.
Mr Whattoff says: “Disease models are an add-on product, available for a wide variety of crops, including cereals, root crops, vegetables and fruit, and highlight high, medium and low risk periods for relevant diseases.”
The Soil model adds a moisture probe to rainfall, temperature and humidity sensors – particularly useful in irrigated crops. It provides insight on soil moisture deficit over time, so schedules or water volume can be adjusted as required.
“With erratic summer rainfall, and the increasing cost of water abstraction, saving money and time on irrigation will be vital for some growers,” says Mr Whattoff. Sensors provide greater assurance when reviewing spray programmes, he adds.
The sensors are said to be simple to install, with a plug and play design. They can easily be removed from fields when not in use, or moved to new locations each season. All models are wireless and fitted with a solar panel and long-life battery.
Data is measured and logged every 15 minutes, and transmitted to the app every hour, giving reliable and up to date information to help inform decision making. Users can allow access to their agronomist or other staff.