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Weather Watchers

Timing your pesticide applications for maximum effectiveness depends on the weather and growth stages of the crop and pests. Two new devices can help you better track important weather factors in your fields.

The RainWise MKIII-LR wireless weather station is equipped with all the features most farmers would want. It measures, records and transmits wind speed and direction, air and soil temperatures, relative humidity, barometric pressure, rainfall, soil moisture, dew point and wind chill. It also computes dew point, wind chill, heat index and growing degree days.

“It's really the Cadillac of weather stations because it has all the features you'd want, in an industrial-quality unit, with twice the warranty you get with most weather stations,” says marketing manager Lonnie White. “It's the most accurate and easiest to install weather station on the market.”

Its solar panel charges an internal, sealed battery that can operate for 60 days without any sun at all, and the battery is guaranteed for five years. “You just need to mount the unit in a basic line of sight with your home or office computer, and it will transmit the data over one mile,” White says. “It communicates through walls, but not hills.”

You can choose a display console or simply rely on a computer display from your PC connection. Complete systems for the MKIII-LR start at $1,085. Contact RainWise Inc., Dept. FIN, 25 Federal St., Bar Harbor, ME 04609, 800/762-5723, visit or, or circle 104.

Spectrum Technologies developed its new WatchDog Sprayer Station to help track environmental factors such as wind speed on the go. The soda-can-sized station, when mounted on a tractor or sprayer cab or sprayer tank, works with GPS to adjust its wind sensors to compensate for ground speed.

It measures wind speed and direction, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and GPS parameters including vehicle speed and direction, location and satellite signal strength. All of this information can easily be logged on a PC-compatible PDA that you provide.

“Downloading weather data during pesticide application is becoming a necessary step for most producers who do their own spraying, and our system was developed to make that kind of documentation easy,” says Mike Dunning, weather products manager. “Our sprayer station is very easy to mount and use, updates the data every five seconds, and provides important weather data where you can use it most — in the comfort of your cab.”

The unit runs on four AA batteries and is housed in a durable case that is fully waterproof and resistant to chemicals. It has no moving parts; the traditional wind vane and cups have been replaced by ultrasonic transducers that more accurately measure wind speed, with no need for maintenance, Dunning says.

The WatchDog Sprayer Station package comes with the sensor, computer software for a PDA, and 15 ft. of cable with vehicle power and serial connectors. Price is $1,395. Contact Spectrum Technologies Inc., Dept FIN, 12360 S. Industrial Dr., East Plainfield, IL 60585, 800/248-8873, visit or, or circle 105.

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