Walker Farm, Dummerston, Jack Manix
Really like the remote sensors, they saved the day a couple of times last year.
Dan Kaplan, Brookfield Farm, Amherst, MA
This year our sensors have been, as usual, mostly just a great sense of security as we can check on the temperature of our greenhouse (a major source of concern in the spring and fall) from the comfort of our own bed (in pajamas!). We have been alerted 2 times over the course of the year for low temps in the greenhouse and both times were able to get the backup heater on quickly and fix the problem in the morning.
Despite not having any emergencies - the sensors in the walk-in cooler, the root cellar, and the field have been also great to be able to monitor how our equipment is working and how to best utilize our resources to maximize efficiency in vegetable production and storage
Thanks Larry - we love our sensors!!
Tyson Neukirch, The Farm School, Athol, MA
The most direct influence on the farm this season has been the addition of the digital weather station at Maggies Farm. Not only has it improved our record keeping with respects to precipitation, high/low temps etc. since we have highly localized weather patterns here on the ridge, as a farmer who lives 20 mins away from the farm it is really great for me to be able to check in on weather remotely as it helps me in my planning. I am also looking forward to continuing to develop the data bank of our weather station to better utilize the localized forecasting tool. I feel that this is such a useful and inexpensive tool that I have been encouraging students who plant to start their own farms to invest in one! Also, I am excited for the possibilities of using this localized weather data for more accurate decisions re: pest life and disease life cycles and interventions. I know that there is a great deal of bureaucratic red tape in the way of making the disease and pest life cycles open source so that we can more easily utilize our own data but any advancements here I feel are well worth the effort. In particular I feel that predictive programming to alert farmers of environmental conditions that favor solanacious late blight, allium purple blotch, and cucurbit powdery and downy mildew would be particularly helpful. And yes, the more mobile app accessible this information is, the more likely it will be acted upon by us farmers.