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Advancing weather forecast accuracy for farmers

Advancing weather forecast accuracy for farmers

Weather presenter Jane Bunn doesn’t just read the weather – she understands it.

And her inside knowledge is helping farmers on the Darling Downs master the skies above.

Getting accurate, localised forecasts has long been difficult with farmers often forced to decipher the outlook from multiple weather sites and apps, but that’s changing thanks to Ms Bunn’s new advanced weather forecast system specifically designed with the agricultural sector in mind.

Jane’s Weather PRO can help farmers mitigate risk and take advantage of the weather by harnessing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to unlock weather insights and steer decisions around frost, spraying, irrigation and growth.

The tech was developed by Ms Bunn, a meteorologist and 7NEWS Melbourne weather presenter who was among the innovators showcasing their creations at the Agtech and Logistics Hub’s 2023 GroundUp Agtech Showcase Day. The event provided valuable industry connections and feedback, and since then Ms Bunn has further progressed her advanced weather forecasting system by utilising AI and machine learning.

With Jane’s Weather PRO’s official release set for May 1, the Agtech and Logistics Hub (powered by AgriBusiness Connect) is introducing the Jane’s Weather team to farmers in the Darling Downs region who can use the PRO system to access hyper-local forecasting with hourly predictions.

Josh Cross, of Jane’s Weather, said the Darling Downs region had traditionally relied on generic guidance from the Bureau of Meteorology and various other apps.

“In the Darling Downs, we can offer farmers a more accurate and localised forecast than what they’ve been used to,” Mr Cross said.

“Jane’s Weather has created a single source of truth. No more deciphering your outlook from multiple weather sites and apps, this cutting-edge technology combines all the guidance and learns your specific microclimate, so the latest in AI can provide the best outlook – for your actual farm.

Jane’s Weather PRO also allows users to set custom threshold weather alerts relevant to their operations, enabling better planning and decision-making around crop and pasture management.

While developing the PRO system, Jane’s Weather tested its usability and accuracy with several major agribusinesses, including growers and spray contractors.

Mr Cross said farmers could use Jane’s Weather to identify ideal spraying windows, determine optimal fertiliser timing, prioritise sowing orders, better manage water resources, improve logistics planning at harvest to maximise yields and more.

“The system empowers farmers with informed decision-making capabilities, providing accurate, hyper-local and hourly weather forecasting crucial to their operations,” he said.

Agtech and Logistics Hub Manager Owen Williams said the agricultural sector could benefit greatly from more accurate and local weather forecasts.

“Weather plays such a critical role in producing high-quality crops and livestock, so it’s great to see an Australian-founded technology focused on improving localised forecasts and providing tailored weather insights,” he said.

“We look forward to seeing Jane’s Weather continue their innovation journey and mission to get their tech into the hands of farmers.”

GROWING INNOVATION

Powered by AgriBusiness Connect, Agtech and Logistics Hub is Australia’s home of digital agriculture and premier agribusiness innovation hub, working with innovators to fast-track the development of solutions in the agrifood sector.

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Agtech and Logistics Hub acknowledges the people, the traditional owners of the land where the hub is established and the region – the Gaibal, Keinjan, Barunggam and Jarowair peoples. Their history is our history. We pay our respect to their ancestors and their descendants, who continue cultural and spiritual connections to country.
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Discover some of Australia’s most innovative solutions for the grains sector at our 2024 GRDC GroundUp Showcase Day.