Water is an integral part of agriculture. It’s especially true for Florida citrus growers who also need to keep an eye on water usage both as a tool for combating damage from freezing temperatures and as a potential source of harm due to evaporation. Whether it’s being used for irrigation or as method for dealing with cold weather, water usage affects the harvests and the bottom lines of Florida citrus growers and many other ag segments in The Sunshine State. A recent University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (Uf/IFAS) release maintained that the UF/IFAS FAWN System could save Florida citrus growers and others both water and money.
FAWN and Florida Citrus Growers
FAWN stands for the Florida Automated Weather Network. Started in 1998, the FAWN system was created to generate data about weather so that farmers in agricultural areas could have the most up-to-date information to make decisions for their crops. The weather sensor tools are positioned around agriculture areas rather than airports like most weather sensor equipment.
Researchers with UF/IFAS maintain that using the FAWN system to determine water usage can save a lot of money, according to FAWN director, Rick Lusher. “We estimate that if farmers use FAWN tools to determine when to irrigate their crops, they can save millions of dollars and millions of gallons of water,” Lusher said in the UF/IFAS release.
Florida Citrus Growers can use the FAWN system in the following ways:
- Tracking weather forecasts, which update every three hours.
- Using FAWN’s suite of cold protection tools. “Growers can get an idea of what temperatures will be, and if it will get down to critical numbers,” Lusher said.
- Utilizing FAWN data to determine evaporation levels and whether there would be further cooling of crops.
In the UF/IFAS release, Lusher estimated that growers using cold protection data from FAWN could save two hours of irrigation.
Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.