Online Weather Data for Farm and Yard Irrigation
Utah State University Extension and Sevier County Commissioners have recently installed a new local agricultural weather station. It is located near Venice along highway 118. This location is relatively representative of weather conditions in most of Sevier Valley. The almost real time data from the weather station can be accessed at www.extension.usu.edu/agweather . The way it works is that a computer at Utah State University Extension in Logan calls the weather station via cell phone every 15 minutes. The station then automatically downloads the data to the campus computer, which then posts it on our agweather web site. At most, the data will be an hour old when you select the daily/hourly option. Once you are on the website, select the “Venice” station from the list of several USU weather stations around the state from the drop down menu. You can then select the previous 24 hour data cycle or the daily or the daily with hourly readings. From the data, it is relatively easy to determine how much water/irrigation you need to be applying to crops such as alfalfa, corn, grass, etc. To do this, look for the evapo-transpiration (Et) column. The numbers shown are the actual amount of water in inches /day or week that alfalfa is using. Alfalfa is the default crop. Et for other crops can be determined by using the “Calculate crop Et” calculator. Simply click on the calculator, find your crop “coefficient” in the “View Help Table” and it will calculate irrigation amount for the crop of interest. For Turf grass us the grass crop, which is .78 for this time of year. To determine the right amount of irrigation water to apply to the crop or grass you are growing, first measure the amount of water by catch can your sprinkler system is applying per unit of time, then adjust sprinkling system timers to apply the appropriate amount of irrigation water. If you have questions call Jody A. Gale, USU Extension Agent, Sevier County at 893-0470.