A part of the SmartFarm app: Accumulations

The weather is a very decisive factor in agriculture. In particular, temperature has a great influence on the development of crops, diseases and insects. The number of ‘degree days’ gives insight into the total amount of heat that a plant or insect is exposed to during its life. The opposite is shown by the number of ‘cold hours’. With the accumulation tool in the SmartFarm app, these two weather characteristics and the precipitation sum can be tracked in a simple way.

The accumulations can be entered into the SmartFarm app using a very simple step-by-step plan. The degree days, cold hours and precipitation sum are calculated on the basis of FieldMate data. The results are very reliable because they are measured where the plants develop, in the field. All the FieldMate measuring positions can be used to calculate the degree days and cold hours. It is also possible to set the threshold value.

Calculating accumulations above the ground
Because all the measuring points of the FieldMate can be used, the results of the cumulations can be used for several purposes. For example, to determine whether sufficient cold hours have been reached for fruit trees to ensure regular bud development followed by a good harvest with high fruit quality. The amount of cold hours required depends on the crop and the cultivar. For the calculation of the cold hours in fruit trees the 75cm high temperature sensor can be used.

The accumulation of temperatures at a height of 25 cm can, for example, help to predict insect development. By calculating the number of degree days in the crop, one can be better prepared to start scouting for insects. A good example of insect development based on degree days are thrips. It is known that thrips eggs hatch when the temperature reaches 95.4°C degree days, after which the larvae become active. A lot of crop damage can be prevented if scouting is started on time and crop protection is started on time.

Calculating accumulations underground
Besides the temperature sensors above the ground, temperature sensors below the ground can also be used. For example, to determine root development and to determine the first nitrogen application for grassland. The number of degree days is a measure for the warming up of the soil and the right stage of the grass. By using the measurement data from the temperature sensor at a depth of -5 cm, one is constantly kept informed of the status of the soil and the grass.

Precipitation sum
The rainfall sum is a simple tool to see how much rain has fallen in the last few days, weeks or months, or between two different dates. Because of the simple overview, comparisons can be made in precipitation amounts between seasons, crops and years. This can contribute to an optimisation of the irrigation strategy.

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