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Greyeagle wrote:


Just curious, do you use regular apps or websites (TWC, Weather Underground, etc.) or are there specialized apps or websites that allow farmers to get forecasts targeted for your location? I have used GPLs resident meteorologist (my niece the misguided uw alum) for forecasts when we’ve had big groups at our lake cabin and she has been fairly accurate & wondering if something like that is available. I presume irrigation is expensive as hell plus not easy to deploy so accurate forecasting is like gold.

BTW, for anyone interested I highly recommend “Clarkson’s Farm” on Amazon Prime. Yes it’s often silly and irreverent like Grand Tour/Top Gear but the underlying theme of the show is the impact weather has on farming. You may recall last year in the UK they went from rains that led to massive flooding to a horrible drought and the series was filmed during this period. It offers tremendous insight as well as a lot of chuckles. As a product of a suburban upbringing and as a current urban dweller it was an eye-opener for me. Hail the farmer….wait……hail….horrible word choice…..Three cheers for our farmers!!

There are some subscription based sites that are more geared towards farmers, but I have never used those sites. I have about 5 weather websites that I monitor (along with the TV forecasters) and try to find a consensus among those. For me, wind speed and direction is an important factor when I need to spray, so that is an important items I look for. . Part of my issue is, that I live near the Buffalo Ridge, (Coteau des Prairies) and the weather here is really affected by it and most weather sites just use a blanket approach of the weather here, and the weather can be so different on either side of the Ridge (which I farm on both sides). I realize that predicting the weather is not easy, and normally don’t get too bent out of shape when they are wrong. It is just funny when they say it will rain (75% or higher), and we don’t get a drop.

As far as irrigation, there are not a whole lot of them in my area. I am not an expert on this, but some of the irrigation systems just draw the water from the aquifers under their land, so they don’t have to pay for it. I recall as a kid when someone a few miles away put one in, the locals were concerned that it would use up all the water and not allow enough water for the local farmers wells. Now, most of the people who live in the country around here have “rural water”. It is just like in the city, with a pipeline delivering water to our farm. Plus, I would not drink any well water these days with all of the chemicals that seep into the soils now. I cringe at thinking that is what I grew up on drinking as a kid, but the chemical uses back then was minimal.