Enviro-weather is getting bigger and better

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

More station coverage and new technology are enabling Enviro-weather to provide more weather related services to Michigan at lower costs. Four new weather stations have been added over the past 16 months to the Michigan Agriculture Weather Network (MAWN) to offer better coverage for the Enviro-weather system. New station locations are Commerce Township, South Haven, Lawton, and Scottdale. In addition, we have moved the station previously located at Goodells approximately 5 miles west to Emmett.

Cellular Internet Protocol (cell IP) technology

Implemented by Steve Marquie, Enviro-weather’s Technical Systems Manager, cell IP technology enables Enviro-weather’s central computer to communicate more efficiently with the remote weather stations. Most states in the United States have agricultural weather networks, but Michigan is the first to the implement this technology. The old system relied on land line telephones with traditional long distance fees to deliver data to the central computer. With cell IP technology, we are charged a flat rate like a cell phone with practically unlimited data capability. With this technology we are able to deliver near-real-time weather information to Enviro-weather users at a lower cost to the system. Currently we have 50 percent of our stations converted to cell IP and our goal is to have 85 percent converted within the next year. With each station we convert, we gain a savings of 66 percent; this will mean an overall savings of over $21,000 annually with better service to the user.

Enviro-weather tip

Get your weather-based information with a click of a button by book marking your favorite page on Enviro-weather. For example, to get easy access to the turfgrass page, go to www.enviroweather.msu.edu, click on the station of your choice and click on turfgrass or Christmas trees/forestry. Now that you are on the Turfgrass page (Christmas trees/forestry page), click on “Bookmarks” on your browser toolbar and click bookmark this page. The next time you need weather related information you can click the bookmarks button and go directly to the Enviro-weather page designed for turfgrass or Christmas tree/forestry users.

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