NIWA has developed new tools that can help farmers decide when to irrigate or fertilise. But it needs farmers to test out the tools to ensure they are as practical and easy to use as possible.
The first new tool is called NIWA IrriMet and will be demonstrated at the NIWA stand in the main pavilion at this year’s National Agricultural Fieldays. IrriMet follows the successful launch of FarmMet at last year’s Fieldays.
FarmMet is a tailored weather forecasting tool that provides accurate up-to-date forecasts specific to individual properties. It works by capturing data from climate stations closest to an individual farm and using that to tailor a forecast to farmers delivered straight to their computer.
IrriMet also taps into this same data which is fed in real time to NIWA’s supercomputer, combined with high-resolution weather forecasting and soil information to generate a six-day forecast of soil moisture and leaching potential.
It tells farmers when and how much to irrigate, what the leaching potential is and how overall growth is tracking.