Offering farmers an ultra-local, ‘smart’ weather service, Sencrop has more than doubled its UK station network over the last 12 months as more and more growers start to see the value of remote weather monitoring via a smartphone.
Now the company has upgraded its mobile application, integrating the most popular weather forecasting models from the 22 countries where the company has a presence and allowing farmers to pick the forecasting service most suited to their needs.
The move follows an in-depth customer survey conducted during November 2020, which revealed how users consulted and compared weather forecasts from different forecasting models every day. Sencrop’s product teams then selected the most relevant models, according to three criteria – geographical coverage, short- or long-term forecast, and popularity – to develop the new feature, which was added to the Sencrop app at the end of February.
Farmers can access, within the application, the forecasting models used by major UK weather data sites like Metcheck, BBC and Meteoblue, and use the most appropriate one according to their needs and preferences.
In total, 10 models have been integrated within Sencrop’s 22 active countries, including six for the UK and Ireland.
Sencrop says one model will be more relevant than another, depending on the use case. A cereal producer may focus on short-term forecasts linked to wind, before applying nitrogen or crop protection treatments, while a potato producer will need longer-term rain forecasts to anticipate the risk of mildew. Similarly, wine growers will pay particular attention to short-term forecasts to plan for frosts in winter and thunderstorms in summer.
Various models meeting these needs are now available on the Sencrop application.
“Since our goal is to help farmers make better decisions based on weather data, and we listen a lot to what they have to tell us, we are continuously improving the Sencrop app,” says Michael Bruniaux, Sencrop co-founder.
“This further development in our forecast dashboard, which allows a farmer to pick the most suitable forecast model in their dashboard, felt like evidence to us. We realised this feature would be even more valuable if they could customise the weather forecast to the one that would most suit their needs.”
By combining these forecasting models with weather data from the connected station on their farms – temperature, wind speed, humidity, rainfall accumulation, etc – Sencrop enables farmers to improve precision and optimise agricultural operations.
During the high season, farmers consult the app several times a day, according to Sencrop user data, with the weather forecast alone accessed up to five times a day.
Models present in the Sencrop app for the UK and Ireland include ARPEGE11, METEOBLUE, GFS22, ICON7, HRMN5 and UKMO17.