Use of Real-time Florida Automated Weather Network Data in Support of Strawberry Cold Protection and Irrigation Scheduling

Kelly T Morgan, William R Lusher

Abstract


Weather-related information is essential to Florida’s agricultural producers for making important decisions. Strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) growers, in particular, routinely monitor current weather conditions to make informed decisions regarding the use water for irrigation and cold protection as well as the application of chemicals. Real-time monitoring of air and wet bulb temperatures is critical in cold protection and determining daily evapotranspiration rates can significantly impact irrigation scheduling. The Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN), a program of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), provides strawberry growers with a variety of weather-related tools that can aid them in making these decisions. The FAWN Freeze Alert Tool can send an email or SMS text message when certain conditions have occurred at a FAWN site—receiving information in this way allows the grower more time in the field on nights when temperatures can be critically low. The FAWN Strawberry Irrigation Scheduler can assist growers in determining the appropriate number of days between irrigation, irrigation run-time based on evapotranspiration rates and specific grove spacing data, irrigation system design, and soil type. These tools can be found at http://fawn.ifas.ufl.edu/tools.


Keywords


Fragaria ×ananassa, frost alert system, evapotranspiration

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283