While Washington State University's far-reaching AtWeatherNet stations and services are no stranger to the state's farmers, who use the system regularly, now there are four new weather stations in the system to expand the reach even further.
The newcomers will provide wheat farmers and plant breeders with insights into the influence of weather patterns on wheat production in the area of eastern Washington.'
The WSU stations were installed near Harrington, Hartline, LaCrosse and Garfield in Washington.
The Washington Grain Commission helped finance the new wheat region stations in the AgWeatherNet system directed by WSU's Gerrit Hoogenboom, who notes that there are now nearly 145 such weather stations throughout the state, as well as four in neighboring fields of Oregon. By the end of the year, a total of 150 such stations are expected to be operational, says Hoogenboom.
WSU wheat breeder Mike Pumphrey is eager to have additional weather and climate information from the eastern part of the state which is a major wheat production area. Researchers and growers will benefit from information on how weather impacts wheat production and quality, he says.
"Many diseases and traits are influenced by weather and the environment," says Pumphrey. "Accurate information will allow us to gain a better understanding of drought tolerance, heat tolerance and other wheat productivity traits."
And in turn the information may be incorporated into what new varietal characteristics are important to different weather regions in Washington.
Weather stations have become an important computer link for farmers who can discover the past patterns and current temperatures, wind velocities, etc., to help them make planting, spraying and harvesting decisions.
For information about the new AgWeatherNet stations and associated decision support tools and models in your area, visit http://weather.wsu.edu/awn.php.
For the latest statewide AgWeatherNet weather outlook from meteorologist Nic Loyd, visit http://weather.wsu.edu/awn.php?page=awn_outlook.
For an AgWeatherNet recap of October's weather statewide, see http://news.wsuedu/2013/11/13/pleasant-october-weather-blown-away-on-the-28th/#.UoPHnJHTmfA.