How AcuRite Helps a Community Farm Manage Irrigation by Collecting Rainfall Data

Three photos. From left to right: a wide view of farmers planting crops, a close-up of one farmer working in the soil and farmers spraying water on soil with a hose
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By AcuRite Team
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How AcuRite Helps a Community Farm Manage Irrigation by Collecting Rainfall Data

Rio Grande Community Farm is a non-profit urban farm located on City of Albuquerque Open Space. The largest community garden in New Mexico, it produces and distributes fresh, organic produce to a variety of organizations in Albuquerque. These include schools, food banks and non-profit organizations.

Problem

The farm relies on a large network of volunteers, community gardeners, and staff farmers to maintain healthy crops. Since most of the volunteers are not on-site every day, it is difficult for everyone to know when plants need to be tended to.

Solution

Rio Grande installed an AcuRite Weather Environment System with Wind and Rain, which features the smartHUB remote monitoring. The system continually measures accumulated rainfall amounts, monitors current weather conditions, and forecasts future weather conditions. All this information is automatically uploaded, via My AcuRite, to Weather Underground, where gardeners and farmers can view the information on their computers, smartphone, and tablets.

 

AcuRite weather station

Results

Kemper Barkhurst, a member of the Rio Grande Community Farm Board of Directors, reports that using the AcuRite system to collect rainfall data has helped them not only improve their crops but also save water. The reason, he said, is that AcuRite helps them know when and when not to use their irrigation systems and sprinkler systems.

"It is important to our fieldwork and irrigation needs to monitor the weather conditions at the farm," Barkhurst said. "[The AcuRite weather environment system] has improved our watering schedule so that we have monitored enough rainfall that we can skip irrigating."

Barkhurst added that having rainfall totals is as beneficial for organic farming as it is for growing a few vegetables in your backyard.

"Get a weather station so you can keep a record of what's happening in the field even when you’re not there," Barkhurst said.

 

Get a weather station so you can keep a record of what's happening in the field even when you're not there.

Kemper Barkhurst
Rio Grande Community Farm

March 8, 2018
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