Mesonet weather station network launched at Brinkley

The network will help the Murraylands' farmers decide when to spray their crops.

Mark Stanley, David Evans, David Basham, Tim Harvey and Adrian Pederick learn about the Mesonet weather stations. Photo: Adrian Pederick/Twitter.

Murraylands farmers will now have access to more information than ever as they decide when to spray their crops.

A new network of 30 automated weather stations was officially launched at Brinkley on Tuesday.

The $1.4 million project was set up by the Ag Excellence Alliance and funded by the state government to solve the problem of spray drift, which costs the agricultural industry hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

As well as basic data such as temperature, wind speed and rainfall, the stations also record things like the temperature difference between and above ground level, which can cause pesticide sprays to drift into neighbouring paddocks; and the grassland fire danger index, which indicates whether it is safe to harvest during summer.

All that data is made available online at riverlandmalleemesonet.com.au.

Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basham said the Mesonet system would give growers the accurate, targeted data they needed to make better informed decisions.

“Where the Mesonet system has been operational over the past two years (in the Mid North) there has been a significant decline in the number of spray drift reports,” he said.

“This is a great example of what can be achieved when government and industry work together in finding solutions to what has been a long-standing problem.”

Mallee Sustainable Farming gave a presentation about the network to local growers at Tailem Bend in February.

The new network builds on available weather information from the Bureau of Meteorology, which has stations at Murray Bridge, Pallamana and elsewhere; and Landscape SA, which maintains 40 stations across the Murraylands and Riverland.


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