The development of agriculture has always been closely tied to the interpretation and prediction of weather. The first standard rain gauge was developed in 1441 and since then, humans have been attempting to better predict the weather using increasingly advanced tools to protect their crops.

on farm weather station

No matter how many technological innovations happen in the agriculture industry, growing food will always be dependent on the weather where it is grown. Weather is the most important variable in crop health, and being able to closely monitor it is extremely valuable when determining planting times, treatment plans, irrigation schedules, and more.

Growers need to know the weather conditions and pay careful attention to what’s going on outside. “Minimizing weather risk requires knowledge,” says Beth Bishop, the coordinator of Michigan State University's Enviro-weather program. “Growers need to know the current weather conditions and have an idea of what they will be in the near future."

Weather information is extremely valuable in guiding a host of farm management decisions. Therefore, weather stations are an invaluable tool in a grower's arsenal.

Ways in which weather stations can help growers include assessing live wind conditions (speed/direction) for spraying chemicals, applying a herbicide when temperature, humidity and rainfall conditions assure best results, documenting wind for spray drift risks, forecasting diseases, predicting crop or insect stages to ensure timely treatments, and predicting yields and harvest quality attributes. However, it can be difficult to extract these insights from the raw data weather stations generate. Weather stations can include a huge variety of components, but a few of the most common are listed below.

Components of Weather Stations:

Anemometer - Measures wind direction and speed.

Thermometer - Measures atmospheric temperature.

Hygrometer - Measures relative humidity using a percentage measure of water vapour in the air.

Barometer - Measures atmospheric pressure to predict precipitation.

Rain Gauge - Measures liquid precipitation using an open container. They usually empty automatically and measure the amount of rainfall over a given time interval.

Pyranometer - Measures solar radiation levels from the sun in watts per square meter (used to calculate ‘evapotranspiration’, the rate at which water evaporates from the soil).

UV Sensor - Measures UV rays from the sun. These sensors are used for precision growing in particular crops like cannabis, where overexposure to UV-rays can stunt leaf growth or affect potency.

Leaf Wetness Sensor - Measures surface moisture of the plants on a scale of 0-15 (dry to saturated). Data from these sensors are used in fungal disease control.

Soil Moisture Sensor - Measures water levels in the soil.

Soil Temperature Sensor - Monitors the soil temperature to detect freezing, or high temperatures that can put crops at risk. Also used to calculate rate of evapotranspiration.

These instruments can provide growers with huge amounts of data. Luckily, farm management software can be linked to weather stations in order to process and present this information so that it is easy-to-read and actionable for the grower.

Cloud-based farm management platforms integrating with weather stations and remote data sensors allow users to aggregate their data with other real-time farm data such as soil data, weather data, and satellite data to establish more comprehensive insights about their operations.

Interested in learning more about Croptracker? Learn more about our Farm Management Software, or book a demonstration to schedule a meeting with our product experts.

And as always, if you're ever stuck, never hesitate to e-mail us at or Live Chat with us by clicking the green speech bubble helpicon in your bottom right-hand corner.  We're always happy to help, so Croptracker can make your farm more efficient, safer, and more profitable!