This article published in Canterbury Farming, outlines an innovative project to provide a sophisticated, long range drought forecasting tool for New Zealand farmers.
The result will be an improvement on the existing NIWA drought index model.
Having a reliable and accurate early warning system, based on science, will surely help on farm decision making.
As Minister Damien O’Conner said “…you can cut your cloth accordingly…”.
As you know, accurately forecasting the weather in NZ is difficult at the best of times. However, a long range forecast of drought conditions is really valuable to farmers. It has the potential to improve decision making, ensuring that available water is used to give the best possible response rate.
Drought forecasting will also impact your irrigation scheduling decisions. Our IMS platform users will be able to manage which “groups” of solid set sprinklers are to irrigate to get the most productive result from a limited water supply.
We often refer to Water-Insight as a VRI (variable rate irrigation) system for solid set, as it allows you to vary the applied irrigation based on criteria such as terrain, slope or boggy areas. In the context of drought forecasting, these scheduling criteria descriptions change to critical/productive crop or marginal/sacrifice if needed crop.