Whether it is to reason out phytosanitary treatments or to anticipate cultivation operations, weather conditions are at the center of every decision in the agricultural world. In a context of climate change, applying old recipes no longer works. It is therefore essential to provide reliable meteorological information to management structures, the research community and farmers.
Currently, two sources of agrometeorological data available in real time coexist in Wallonia: on the one hand, the Pameseb network of the CRA-W, an expert network of 30 stations whose data are integrated in the Agromet.be platform. On the other hand, private networks composed of weather stations purchased and installed in the fields by farmers (see figure 2). Within the framework of AGROMET II, CRA-W will collaborate with the WalDigiFarm’s weather network, which includes more than 100 private connected weather stations.
Each of these two networks has its strengths and weaknesses: the Pameseb network provides high quality data but has few stations; private networks have a large number of stations but the quality of the data is not guaranteed.
The objective of the AGROMET II project is to combine these two types of networks in order to reinforce each other.
Figure 2 : Comparison of two agricultural weather station networks in Wallonia: CRA-W Pameseb network (left) and WalDigiFarm network (right).
Automatic data checking procedures will be defined to filter the farmers' weather data and remove outliers. Then, the spatialization models studied in the Agromet I project will be trained with the filtered farmers' data. The performance indicators of the virtual weather stations (interpolated weather data) will be analyzed to quantify the improvement following their integration.
In parallel, five farmer weather station models will be tested in the field. The objective is to compare the readings of these stations to two reference weather stations (Pameseb and IRM) to ensure their validity.
The access to the farmers' data will be done in the respect of the General Data protection Regulation (GDPR) and with the agreement of the farmer thanks to standard documents which will be written within the framework of the project.
In order to increase the robustness of the rainfall measurements of the Pameseb network, the stations of the Pameseb network will be equipped with weighing rain gauges. These rain gauges are more accurate and require less maintenance than the traditional tipping bucket rain gauges.
Two agrometeorological decision support tools for farmers will be developed in close collaboration with farmers and WalDigiFarm.
- A new robust and efficient weather data quality control.
- Improvement of the quality of spatialized weather data on Agromet.be
- Development of two decision support tools for farmers:
- « My weather report » : Sending to the farmer a periodic weather report on his farm
- « My quality control » : Sending to the farmer an alert in case of suspected problem on his weather station (ex. clogged rain gauge).
- WalDigiFarm : Arnaud Verlinden, Sébastien Weykmans
- Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI) : Michel Journée
- UCLouvain : Patrick Bogaert
- Agence du Numérique : Sandrine Quoibion
Walloon Government's Recovery Plan for Wallonia (Axis 3, Sub-Axis 3.1, Project 142: "Deploying Smart farming: digital for transition").
Figure 1 : Screenshot from Agromet.be : the virtual weather stations (interpolated data) appear in the background map of the whole Walloon region in the form of 1 km x 1 km pixel resolution.