Solutions to the Challenges of Agricultural Weather Sensors
Using weather sensors on a farm comes with a lot of benefits, but there are challenges in their implementation as well. Not to worry, as we have your solutions. Here are some things to be mindful of when installing weather sensors, and what you can do about them:
Weather sensors are connected to a central system, but the technology depends on what best fits your farm. Usually, it’s preferred to have a Wi-Fi connection as ConnectedCrops does, but sometimes there’s no access point nearby. In that case, many farms will choose a cellular connection. In addition, regardless of what connection you pick, you need to make sure that your sensors are close enough to the source that they can get accurate readings. This way they won’t have any trouble in sending the information to the server. Some sensors from different companies also use radio signals if Wi-Fi is not available.
Weather sensors usually rely on batteries to power their operation. Since some sensors are on farms that go through extreme weather conditions, these batteries need to be able to operate and recharge in all kinds of temperatures. When picking out batteries, choose the type that can withstand the field and weather conditions on your specific farm.
To help with their energy usage, make sure your sensors are only operating when they have to, so you can save data. This will put less stress on the battery, prolonging its life. Sensors that use ConnectedCrops even have the capability to be powered by solar energy.
The weather sensors themselves
Good quality sensors are reasonably priced, but there are extreme figures at both ends that might make you think twice about what you want. Some sensors are $800 and they provide the same service as sensors that cost $10. The truth is that a quality sensor can be had for a decent price, just do your homework so you know that you’re getting value for your money.
The packaging and insulation of the weather sensors also matters. Depending on what you’re using them for and what the surroundings are like, you want to make sure the encasing is suitable. Naturally, extreme weather conditions will need a stronger casing, while indoor sensors probably don’t need as much protection. With that being said, make sure the casing should not be so layered so as to prevent the weather sensors from getting a good reading of their immediate environment. Sometimes you can put so much packaging around it that it interferes with the sensor’s ability to read its environment, so test the weather sensor in your environment after it’s been encased.
All these weather sensors are sending out readings every hour of every day. If you deploy multiple sensors in different areas, naturally you will be inundated with loads of worthwhile information. From that large database you can see trends and other insights that can help you run your farm even better. It’s these big data solutions that are helping businesses make good decisions, so get weather sensors that can help you take advantage.