On-Farm Irrigation Scheduling with AGRIMET Weather Network
AgriMet is an automated agricultural weather station network dedicated to improved irrigation water management through crop water use modeling and technically based irrigation scheduling. Primary sponsorship of the AgriMet network is through the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Bonneville Power Administration. Secondary sponsorships include public utilities, irrigation districts, universities, the Extension Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and private cooperators.
Each AgriMet station is set up to monitor air temperature, relative humidity, dew point temperature, precipitation, wind run, wind speed, wind direction, and solar radiation. AgriMet is designed to provide a site-specific climatic database for modeling crop water use and other agricultural applications. Transmissions from each AgriMet station deliver data at 4 hour intervals to a Bureau of Reclamation computer housed in Boise, ID. Data are collected at the weather stations on a 15-minute time interval. Selected stations also monitor soil temperatures and soil moisture. These data are available and accessible on a 'real time' basis by anyone having computer access to the world wide web at: http://www.usbr.gov/gp/agrimet/
The AgriMet stations determine crop water use, or evapotranspiration (ET), which is a combination of water leaving the plant as transpiration and water leaving the soil in the form of evaporation. ET varies as a function of the climatic conditions, the wetness of the soil, the specific crop, and the stage of growth of the crop and is available online on a daily basis for a variety of crops and emergence dates.