Why don't you place the Rainfall Measurement sensor in the field?

Why don't you place the Rainfall Measurement sensor in the field?

In the past, technology limited us to connecting the rainfall sensor directly to the soil moisture sensor, but not anymore! Now that each sensor is fully wireless we can place the rain gauge anywhere we want. Here's just a few of the reasons that we ask you to pick a spot outside of your crop for us to install it.

The crop doesn't throw off the data
When the rain gauge is in the field, it taller crops like corn can wreck havoc on the quality of data. One must chop down the crop in a generous border around the rain gauge to make sure that no leaves can get blown into a position where they can block the fall of rain or the flow of the wind that can also affect how much rain ends up in the gauge. Even when this is done, pollen and anthers can manage to block up the rain gauge surprisingly quickly. Outside of the crop, such as along a ditch full of grass, these problems quickly go away!

The pivot doesn't throw off the data
At first thought, it seems that putting the rain gauge under the pivot would be a good thing, but in practice we have found that that it produces very poor quality data. Even high quality pivots are going to vary the amount of water they apply from spot to spot around the field, and while it may be even enough to not cause issues with the crop, it definitely means that a single rain gauge is going to be a very poor estimate of the average or total amount of water that your pivot is actually applying. If a pivot has drops, it becomes almost impossible to place the rain gauge low enough to get results that aren't horribly inconsistent!

The best way to know how much total water your pivot is delivering is through the use of a flow meter.

The best way to know if your pivot is applying an even distribution of water across your field is by looking at current and historical field imagery for obvious patterns caused by uneven irrigation.

Year-round updates
Since the rain gauge isn't tied to the soil moisture sensor, we can leave it in place year-round, without missing a single rain shower before or after the point that we install the soil moisture sensor in the field.

Sturdier, better install
If the rain bucket is going into the field, then you have to balance a "good permanent install" vs "will I be able to remove it easily before they harvest?" At a permanent location, we don't have to compromise the depth of the post or the time we spend setting it up.

Lower cost
If we had to pull the thing out of the ground and reinstall it every year, we would have to factor that labor into the price. Less labor for us means better price for you!
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