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Weather stations: newest units help with irrigation, pest control and viticultural decisions.

Weather stations provide vital data for making irrigation decisions, managing vine growth and integrated pest management. Most can be incorporated into wider networks that monitor conditions like soil moisture and evapotranspiration, and they can be customized for which weather data are recorded. Several of the stations listed here transmit data to a secure website where it can be downloaded to a desktop or mobile device. Solar panels are standard on some stations and an optional feature on others. Prices vary due to the type and sophistication of the sensors on the station, functionality and how data is collected, logged and disseminated. Several units also issue alerts when triggered by certain weather conditions.


Texas Weather Instruments' Network Weather Station (NWS) posts local weather data to the web. The station can be powered with an external source or solar panel and comes with sensors for wind direction and speed, temperature, humidity, rainfall and barometric pressure. Optional sensors include solar radiation, leaf wetness and soil moisture. Price for solar-powered unit: $1,899.


The RB-WS station by Ranch Systems comes equipped with temperature and relative humidity sensors in a radiation shield, wind speed and direction sensors, rain gauge and a pyranometer to measure solar radiation. A required software subscription includes an online library of standard crop formulas such as mildew index and growing degree-days, but users can create custom indexes. Price: Starting at $3,000.


Environmental Sensors Inc. offers a modular system of sensors that can be linked together to relay data wirelessly to a central "gateway" that then uploads data to a website. ESI produces sensors for wind speed and direction, humidity, rainfall, solar radiation, leaf wetness and barometric pressure. Weather data is accessible via desktop computer or smartphone, and alerts can be issued via phone, email or text. Price: Inquire with supplier.


Western Weather sells weather stations featuring Campbell Scientific instruments. Stations in the WA100 series are preconfigured and preprogramed to lower costs and feature a range of sensors for air temperature, rainfall, humidity, wind speed and wind direction. Data is sent to a secure website via the Verizon cellular network. Users can access the data through a smartphone app or a secure website and download data in tabular or graphical format. The station can also be set to issue alerts for particular parameters and run data for dew point temperature, powdery mildew conditions, growing degree-days and other parameters. Price: Starting at $2,000.


Decagon Devices' Microclimate Monitoring System comes equipped with sensors for measuring rainfall to 0.2 mm, solar radiation, wind speed and direction, leaf wetness, temperature and humidity as well as a data logger. The station can be incorporated into a wireless sensor network with an optional upgrade. Price: Inquire with supplier.


The WeatherHawk 922 is preconfigured with sensors for wind speed and direction, air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, solar radiation and rainfall. The station can be modified with a range of power sources, sensors and software options. Price: $2,795.


Harvest Electronics' Automatic Weather Station can operate on nearly any cellular network in the world, and it also has an option for satellite connectivity. The solar-powered system collects data for temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction and rainfall. It transmits the data to Harvest's website, where it can be viewed as graphs, raw data or downloaded in a spreadsheet. The station also issues alerts when it detects certain parameters. Price: Inquire with supplier.


Davis Instruments' stations feature the company's GroWeather ISS wireless sensor suite, which gathers information about rainfall, temperature and humidity. The company's stations can also be equipped with a fan-aspirated radiation shield, solar and UV radiation sensors, anemometer and other sensors. Davis' Vantage Collect transmits data via a cellular signal to a secure website where it can be accessed by a desktop or mobile device. Price: Starting at $395.


Kestrel produces handheld devices for measuring weather conditions in the field. The company's 5500 Environmental Meter measures wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, wet bulb temperature, heat stress index and temperature. The device can be linked to a smartphone or computer via Bluetooth. Price (with Bluetooth connectivity): $399.


The WatchDog 2000 series of stations by Spectrum Technologies comes equipped to measure temperature, humidity, rain, wind and solar radiation and can be customized with other sensors. The station can be accessed by multiple PCs, and an LCD display enables users to check data without a PC. The unit's software can monitor data for more than a dozen growing conditions, and data can be sent via wireless, cellular or direct contact. Price: Starting at $1,195.

Caption: Decagon Devices

The Wines & Vines Product Focus feature is not intended to provide a definitive listing of all available products in a particular segment or provide any comparative analysis, but rather serve as an overview of what's new or available and also of potential interest to readers as determined by the magazine's editorial staff.


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Title Annotation:PRODUCT FOCUS
Comment:Weather stations: newest units help with irrigation, pest control and viticultural decisions.(PRODUCT FOCUS)
Author:Adams, Andrew
Publication:Wines & Vines
Date:Aug 1, 2016
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