Mother Nature and farmers hardly ever see eye to eye. When farmers need to plant, she decides to make it rain. When you need rain for your crops to grow, she decides to be stubborn.
This will never change, but there have been huge advances in keeping track of the weather coming your way. Those advances now allow farmers to make decisions on the spot, even while standing in their fields or sitting in the tractor cab.
Weather apps have become a farmers' must have – no more trying to guess which way those storm clouds are moving and no more calling the house having someone read the radar (an interesting conversation for those directionally impaired trying to relay the movement of a storm).
There are numerous weather apps available, the majority for free. However, an unofficial survey of people involved in agriculture turned up these most common: Accu-Weather, Growers Edge, Weatherchannel, NOAA and Weatherlink Mobile, to name a few. There are also some weather apps that cost, but some say they are well worth the expense. RadarScope, prices at $9.99, seems steep for an app but comes highly recommended as a great weather app by some in the ag industry.
Some must-haves on whatever weather app you choose:
Radar: Motion and zoom, ground detail and maps – preferably with county roads
Forecast: Day, week and month, including temperature highs and lows
Current Conditions: Temperatures, wind speed and direction, humidity
Past Conditions: Rain and snowfall totals, highs and lows
For the best information available, make sure that the radar and maps are updated frequently. While knowing exactly what the weather will do is never going to happen, having the most up to date information at your fingertips when making decisions in the field is always helpful.
Which features do you recommend? Comment below.