Wallaces Farmer

BASF Digital Farming adds more options for farmers who want very local weather information for decision-making.

Willie Vogt

December 15, 2021

4 Min Read
xarvio Field Manager weather station connectivity
LOCAL WEATHER: Weather stations can provide farmers enhanced information for crop protection applications and overall crop management. Linking those monitors with digital farming software offers more options. Xarvio Field Manager has expanded weather station connectivity. Courtesy of BASF

Digital farming tools designed to help farmers better manage crops require a lot of information to be valuable. A key area is weather, and recently Xarvio Field Manager — the digital farming tool from BASF — announced an expansion of its connection to weather stations.

"Weather station connectivity is actually not new for us," says Jeff Spencer, head of technology and data, Digital Farming, at BASF. "What's new is the addition of a couple of additional providers."

The Xarvio system has been connected to weather station data from the Arable platform for some time. The new players have global reach expanding the level of information farmers using Xarvio Field Manager need.

The added options include integration of data from Metos by Pessl Instruments and Sencrop. Spencer explains that these systems work because they report information to the cloud, which Xarvio can access for BASF with Field Manager for decision-making.

"What this represents is two things," Spencer says. "One is that we admit we can't do this on our own, we need partners; and so this represents the partnerships we need to successfully improve and automate agricultural production. The second is choice: I think that's a big element of this, going beyond offering only a single option and adding more weather station providers."

Working at global scale

These latest weather stations are at work in different parts of the world. Metos by Pessl Instruments does have weather stations in the United States but also in Brazil, Argentina and Europe. Sencrop devices are at work in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, the United Kingdom and Ukraine. And in France, Sencrop has been integrated in the Xarvio system since January.

For a farmer to link their Xarvio Field Manager account with the farm weather station, the customer simply logs into the Xarvio system, clicks on "weather stations" in the user settings menu, and selects the manufacturer of their station. There's a unique key generated by that station's manufacturer, and once entered, data from the device flow into the system.

Spencer says the company is looking at other partnerships as the use of IoT (Internet of Things) devices becomes more common, the key is linking the information gathered into Xarvio for decision-making. "As a global brand platform, we're looking at each market, and there may be different provider needs or different provider landscapes we might need to accommodate. Adding Metos and Sencrop represents our next big step; the first was to bring Arable in. This step now allows us  to offer that choice with these new stations."

Spencer acknowledges that weather is key in the ag community. He notes the company can do in-depth crop modeling and yield modeling, and provide best-in-class disease modeling — but at the end of the day, the grower loves to look at weather.

"This brings a sort of hyper-local element for my own field information into Field Manager, so they can see exactly what's happening on their farms and on their fields," he says.

That enhanced local information flows into Xarvio Field Manager and enhances the system's ability to model yield and growth stages for improved pest and disease pressure measurement. "It's really not just giving you that intimate look at your own weather, which the grower loves, but also taking it to the next step," he says. "They can see some of the downstream modeling or capability that we can use that weather information for."

Building on the promise of precision ag

Spencer explains that over time Xarvio, with its legacy organizations coming together – Xarvio started at Bayer, but was acquired by BASF, and combined with BASF’s digital farming work already in process; "We might have one of the largest crop phenology modeling portfolios."

This data includes a comprehensive list of crops, pests and diseases which can be used to provide growth-stage insight and application advice. This can help farmers maximize crop protection efforts, he adds.

"I think for me, it's the power of data and agriculture finally kind of reaching the promise it holds," Spencer says. "For a long time we've had this promise to growers that we've struggled to deliver on, because we didn't have all the data. We've really reached the point that we're bringing all this data together, and we're starting to be able to realize that vision."

You can learn more about the weather station capability by visiting xarvio.com.


About the Author(s)

Willie Vogt

Willie Vogt has been covering agricultural technology for more than 40 years, with most of that time as editorial director for Farm Progress. He is passionate about helping farmers better understand how technology can help them succeed, when appropriately applied.

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