The State Government has funded $1.46 million towards a network of state of the art automatic weather stations which will be situated in the Mid North and will provide access to vital weather data which will contribute to minimising the risk of spray drift.
In previous years in the Mid North, spray drift has been estimated to cause a potential loss in production value of $178 million, when left unaddressed.
With 40 solar-powered weather stations being installed at selected sites throughout the Mid North, Clare Valley, northern Adelaide Plains and northern Yorke Peninusla, farmers will have unlimited access to unlimited data for their area.
The Ag Excellence Alliance pilot project will provide farmers with highly accurate and localised data about atmospheric stability; which will allow for farmers to avoid spraying pesticides when conditions indicate that spray drift may be likely.
The stations will be built by the middle of 2018, yet they and the website that provides weather data from the systems are not expected to be up and running until late 2019.
Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock says that the weather stations are a critical investment to ensure that farmers have the most necessary data to make informed decisions in managing their properties.
“The food most of us put on our tables each night comes from our regions- including the Mid North.”
“We have worked hard to build our reputation for premium food and wine across the globe and it deserves this investment to see it maintained.”
Executive officer, Mark Stanley from Ag Excellence Alliance agrees with Mr Brock that the weather network is critical in protecting primary industry production in the Mid North and it should be invested into.
“The automatic weather station network has potential to provide additional information in the future that will add further value to the investment.”
Ag Excellence Alliance manages a range of projects that contribute to the sustainability of farm businesses across the entire of South Australia, and help to increase the viability of South Australian farmers through provided leadership and effective linkages.