- A new range of in-field sensors from Metos UK offers growers a lower-cost means to get insight on field conditions and improve efficiencies in fungicide use and irrigation, potentially reducing costs
The LoRAIN range includes three models offering a range of measurements. The models can be used in any combination either individually, or as a network across multiple fields to give greater information over a wide area.
David Whattoff from Metos UK, says, “With no annual subscription, low-cost LoRain sensors can be installed in every field for the season, moved each year, and provide information on key conditions to help farmers optimise their input spend.”
The entry-level ‘Rain’ model measures rainfall only, while the mid-range LoRAIN adds temperature and humidity sensors. This additional data allows mid-range LoRAIN users to add a disease model which gives insight into disease risk based on previous climatic conditions.
“Where disease risk is low, growers can use this information to justify reduced fungicide applications or alter their choice of actives,” explains David. “Disease models are an add-on product, available for a wide variety of crops, including cereals, root crops, vegetables and fruit, and highlight high, medium and low risk periods for relevant diseases.”
The LoRAIN ‘Soil’ model adds a soil moisture probe to rainfall, temperature and humidity sensors, further increasing the data available on field conditions, and particularly useful in irrigated crops. The soil probe data provides insight on soil moisture deficit over time, so you can see the impact of rain or irrigation events, and adjust schedules or water volume as required.
“With erratic summer rainfall, and the increasing cost of water abstraction, saving money and time on irrigation will be vital for some growers,” says David, who adds, “For potato crops, blight forecasts are not always accurate at field level, so adding a potato disease model to the LoRAIN Soil provides greater assurance when reviewing spray programmes and choice of actives.”
The LoRAIN range of sensors are simple to install, with a ‘plug and play’ design. The sensors can easily be removed from fields when not in use, or moved to new locations each season. All models are wireless, and come fitted with a solar panel and long-life battery.
The data is measured and logged every 15 minutes, and transmitted to the app every hour, giving reliable and up to date information to help inform decision making. Users can allow access to their agronomist or other staff.