PUTTING A VALUE ON TIME
Chase Johnson holds an Arable Mark in one of his fields near Waco, Neb. For Johnson, who farms with center pivots spaced out across York County, time management is a big factor. And so was reliable access to local rainfall data. So, when he heard about the Arable Mark, which can measure rainfall as well as evapotranspiration (ET) at the field level, he was on board.
Chase Johnson logs onto the Arable web page in his office in York, Neb. Easy access to local rainfall data is one of Johnson's top priorities when it comes to scheduling irrigation. For Johnson, who manages pivots on fields as far as 50 miles apart, it's also important to have reliable local rainfall data.
An Arable Mark is mounted on PVC pipe at the UNL's Testing Ag Performance Solutions plot at the West Central Research and Extension Center near North Platte. One of the goals of the project is to provide access to local rainfall data. Rainfall in western Nebraska can be sporadic and usually comes at night due to convective currents moving over the Rocky Mountains. These currents usually take a few hours to reach western Nebraska, and may be fairly spread out by the time they hit.
Trenton Franz displays a map of the Mark Network in Nebraska. The network includes 20 Marks installed throughout Nebraska, including the two on Chase Johnson's fields, one located at the Testing Ag Performance Solutions (TAPS) field at the West Central Research and Extension Center, and 17 more in growers’ fields as part of a the Western Nebraska Irrigation Project. The goal of the multi-year project is to demonstrate the value of having local rainfall data.
ALL IN ONE PACKAGE
One of Arable's Mark sensors is mounted on a center pivot near Gothenburg, Neb. The Mark is designed to bring everything together into a single device that can be installed in about one minute and 40 seconds. This includes an acoustic sensor that distinguishes the acoustic signature of rain from hail. It also features a barometer, radiometer and spectrometer.