METOS SA: INSTALLATION OF A WEATHER STATION
Climate change is a difficult topic. The ripple impact of climate change affects everyone, not just farmers. There has never been a better time to understand the consequences of climate change. With technology as an enabler, we now have a better understanding of climate change and how to address it.
Metos SA approached Strawberry Hill Farm to install a weather measuring station as we were located in an area where they had insufficient data. Metos SA is a South African-based research organization that focuses on managing food security and providing holistic sustainable agricultural solutions. Metos SA and Terraclim launched climate-smart agriculture (CSA) campaign to establish 200 weather stations across the Western Cape. The goal of this project is to better understand the constantly changing weather conditions in the Western Cape. Aside from analyzing the weather, weather stations serve as an infield decision-making tool.
This blog outlines the background of the Climate-Smart Agriculture project (CSA) and the value of gathering weather data.
The CSA Eureka project involves the installation of over 200 weather stations in the Western Cape and included a significant amount of scientific research, both locally and internationally. Weather stations have been strategically installed over the Western Cape, following an extensive scientific investigation from well-established research departments. Since 2021 the CSA project has been growing to better understand weather and climate change in the Western Cape. Strawberry Hill is proud to be one of these stations.
As illustrated in Figure 1, the project involved multiply stakeholders. Pessl is an Australian weather monitoring solutions provider that uses disease modelling to meet the needs of farmers. It investigates the environment, host plant, and other factors that influence the existence of a disease. Pessl has over one million stations with 220 000 sensors placed in 85 countries, and 145 experts. Not only does it provide jobs, it also has a positive impact on the worldwide position of agriculture by using technology to support food security and predict weather patterns.
Geo-smart and the Centre for Geographical Analysis have undertaken years of study at the University of Stellenbosch and focus on analyzing integrated data resources to provide access to precise climatic and terrain conditions. Geo-smart converts imagery into relevant data about elevation and erosion risk. While the Centre for Geographical Analysis focuses on the application of geographical information systems (GIS), satellite remote sensing and other geographical-analytical techniques in carrying out its research, training and service provision functions. The Terraclim program aims to increase our understanding of climate change in the Western Cape's varied terrain. This project can provide a starting point to understanding and addressing climate change.
All the data that is collected will be made accessible to farmers and the broader community. There is so much useful data just by a tap of a button. For farms and landowners, the data can be used to plan work for the week, based on the localized weather forecast, and to maximize yield and quality with an optimized weather risk forecast for fields. The data also assists with fire prevention through the grass fire index.
We are very grateful to Metos SA for choosing us as the location for the weather station. As a property hosting the technology, we have access to the information at no charge. We will use the data to schedule work on the property, including our trails and plantations. We can also keep guests informed of weather changes so that they can plan their adventures. The information will also assist with managing our rain-fed water system and will be shared with the GVB Conservancy to build into their river monitoring work as they collect data on the status of our local rivers. We are honoured to contribute the data collected on our farm to better understand climate change and how we can all work together to overcome it.
Life in a forest in the mountains