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Weather Station and Computer Network to Provide Evapotranspiration Information in Southern Brazil Through Internet

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Paper number  032232,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13807) @2003
Authors:   Reimar Carlesso, Genésio Mario da Rosa, Mirta Teresinha Petry, Marcio Zaiosc Almeida
Keywords:   Automated weather network, irrigation water management, reference evapotranspiration

The objectives of this work were: (i) to evaluate the implementation, installation, operation, maintenance and management of a weather station network in Southern Brazil and Uruguay; (ii) to provide reliable weather information data; (iii) to give real-time weather quickly through the Internet. This work was developed at the Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM), Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. The network is composed by seventeen (17) weather stations in Brazil and three (3) in Uruguay. Weather variables measured by the stations are automatically transferred into a PC in a time interval of 30 minutes. In the local PC the weather information data are stored in a fail-safe nonvolatile memory, transferred by satellite to a data base (MySQL) located at UFSM. Local crop growing conditions for better irrigation management are provide based on a customized database. Farmers are able to plug into the system, through the Internet (http://www.irriga.proj.ufsm.br), and receive the irrigation management information. Irrigation data are provided in a time interval of 24 hours (to begin an irrigation and the size or amount of that application), besides the probability of irrigation application for the next 24 and 48 hours.

Nowadays irrigation scheduling has been validated to maize, sweet maize, pop corn, drybean, soybean, potato, tomato, peas, cotton, wheat, barley and coffee. The system has been used by 30 farmers in Brazil and five in Uruguay, in a total of 137 center pivot systems (approximately 10,000 hectares). The advantages of this system are: (i) the easiness to obtain the irrigation results in real time; (ii) the soil, crop and weather input data are accomplished by especial staff, trained for this activity (the farmer has only to provide the following information: sowing date, cultivate crop and crop management system) and; (iii) the reduction in energy consumption and increase the water use efficiency.

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