Every year, for the last few decades, MEA has fielded a bunch of frantic phone calls from growers looking for ‘frost alarms’ through that narrow period between ‘bud-burst’ in early September through to the cessation of cold overnight temperatures that can kill off delicate buds and wreck the potential harvest.
After mid-October, all this frantic activity dies off for another year.
While frost alarm technology is not our focus, the new Plexus-GT field stations have the potential to report on canopy temperature profiles almost continuously.
Growers need not even get out of bed to watch temperature trends across their property; such is the power of Green Brain.
So we built up a temperature profiling site on the Nuriootpa (Wine Grape) Research Station, measuring soil temperature 10 cms below the surface, then air temperature at ground level, canopy height and above the crop.
No SMS alarms yet – that’s still coming – but you can see the data at the regular MEA Green Brain demo site in the meantime. Visit www.greenbrain.net.au, enter firstname.lastname@example.org as a Username, and the password is demo.
Dr. Andrew Skinner
on 29 September 2014