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Use of the automatic weather stations for agricultural risks management by insurance companies

Ukraine conquers actively the position of Europe granary. Under these conditions it isn’t necessary to convince the agricultural producers of using the most modern agricultural technologies, crop protection technologies, irrigation, etc. Besides, progress in the sphere of information technologies are used actively in a modern agricultural production.
Using of autonomous portable meteostations, which make a monitoring of orchard’s, greenhouse’s, field’s microclimate in the real time, becomes one of the modern instruments in the agronomist’s hands ; at the same time, the agronomist doesn’t need to go to the field  station.
At the present moment Unifer company introduces the net of meteostations in all regions of Ukraine, offering the unique high-technology instrument for agronomist: meteostation iMetos  produced by Austrian company Pessl Instruments Meteostations  iMetos are used in all climatic zones and for different crops. Unifer Company provides a complete technical and informational support of clients who wish to purchase meteostation.

IMETOS is an autonomous Internet-meteostation being intends for a whole row data acquisition which are transferring to Internet for its review on the site http://www.fieldclimate.com/; Interface site is made in 17 world languages. Using of meteostation gives a possibility of planning and operating a the agrotechnical actions in crop’s growing. There is the constant control (24 hours, 365 days per year) there:

–         The analysis of the select climatic situation in the field in any field scanning interval from 10 to 120 minutes, in the context of days and months;

–         Soil humidity control;

–         Water balance calculation;

–         Sms-warning about frosts or max and min critical indexes due to the whole climatic data;

–         Dew-point index;

–         The calculation of the evaporation and transpiration ET factors;

–         Temperature accumulation calculation, which is necessary for the fight against plants pests;

–         The possibility of the infection pressure forecast based on the received data (potato, tomato, onion, apple, pear, sugar-beat etc.)

The Insurance companies can co-operate with insurers and use meteostation’s data for the risks control. The station allows getting weather information in the real-time regime for exact time determination of the risk event beginning, descriptions of risk and duration of influence on the insured crops or animals.  It is possible to tune the recorder for weather data fixing in a short intervals, for example 10-15 minutes. It allows minimizing the possibility of data manipulation, because the data flow will fix immediately the non-standard deflection of one or another parameters. For data control, the insurance companies can also use the data of the official state weather-stations. The state stations are usually situated at the distance of 40-60 km, separately; it is enough for the data control.

The automatic stations’ data give the possibility to estimate more exactly the influence of weather factors on the vegetation and yield forming in a separate Farm. For example, the insurance company needs to know the drought parameters (tmax precipitations amount, relative air humidity), time and duration of  frosts (tmin), the air temperature influence on the plants’ pollination and fruit forming  of vegetable crops (pollen sterilization because of temperature stress, tmax). The data of the state stations don’t always show the real weather situation in a farm, especially if the station is situated in more than 30 km from the insurer’s fields (risk of base). Accordingly the weather stations’ usage gives the possibility to improve the collaboration level of insurance companies and insurers and more active react to emergent problem situations.

In the most of insurance contracts  there is a norm, when the insurer informs the insurance company about the risk degree change and about the application of possible measures to minimize the risk events influence. With the help of automatic weather stations the insurance company has the possibility to monitor weather in the insured farms through the Internet-platform and to offer the insurer some measures to minimize the risks.

The use of the automatic weather stations will be especially useful for insurers with few subdivisions which are situated in different administrative regions. Firstly, the insurer’s agronomist gets a powerful instrument for the risks’ management of plants’ damage with illnesses and wreckers. Usually the decision of crop protection application means is accepted after the plants’ damage becomes visible. The weather stations’ data allow to forecast the appearance of illnesses, wreckers and to take necessary measures in advance. Due to the information of foreign colleagues, the weather stations are covered a cost for 1-2 seasons due to the decline expenses, spent on the pesticides’ application  and increase of the crops’ productivity.  Secondly, the insurance company has the possibility to control a situation neatly in different regions, to plan experts’ departures to the fields in proper time and determine more exactly the reasons of the crops’ productivity decline and risks’ influence. The offered technical solution allows the underwriters of insurance company to understand a situation on the insured fields, without leaving the office.

Insurance companies can conclude the partner agreement with the weather-stations’ suppliers and with its producers. The stations supplier makes the equipment certification, the station installation and its service. Besides, according to the agreement, the products’ producer and insurance company get the access to the station data through the Internet. There is a possibility of sending the weather reports to the e-mail or by sms to some telephones.

Taking into account the best control under weather data and  the operative monitoring, insurance companies can offer more high-quality coverage  to insurers, in the case if the latter installs the automatic weather stations not far from the insured fields or orchards. The insurance company can reduce the tariff significantly under the insurance, because he can constantly get the information about the weather.

The insurance company can also get additional service from companies, getting the access for a certain pay to the data not only of certain weather station, but to all network of automatic registrars or to some stations, for choice. Below we offer more detailed information about the iMETOS® automatic weather stations.

IMETOS is an autonomous Internet-meteostation intends for the collection of climatic data information, which are transferred to the Internet for its review on the site http://www.fieldclimate.com/; Interface site is made in 17 world languages. The weather-station usage gives the possibility to plan and operate the agrotechnical actions when growing agricultural crops. There is the constant control (24 hours, 365 days per year) there:

–         The analysis of the select climatic situation in the field in any field scanning interval from 10 to 120 minutes, in the context of days and months;

–         Soil humidity control;

–         Water balance calculation;

–         Sms-warning about frosts or max and min critical indexes due to the whole climatic data;

–         Dew-point index;

–         The calculation of the evaporation and transpiration ET factors;

–         Temperature accumulation calculation, which is necessary for the fight against plants pests;

–         The possibility of the infection pressure forecast based on the received data (potato, tomato, onion, apple, pear, sugar-beat etc.)

     The peculiarity of the meteostation IMETOS consists in its absolute autonomous work. The solar battery provides the power supply in the day-time and the accumulator does the same thing at night. GPRS-modem provides the data transfer which uses the mobile GPRS-Internet of any mobile operator. The program securing (or the departure with the PC to the weather-stations for weather-data collection) is not demanded for the receiving and reviewing meteorological data. The presence of personal name and parole (on the site http://www.fieldclimate.com/) gives the access to the accounts and diagrams. It also gives access to all earlier listed functions, which form due to the cumulative data, received from the field or orchard. Such an access to the weather-data allows looking them through in any world point, where the computer connected to the Internet is (office, apartment or the Internet café). The data could be kept safe on the server during three years. They also could be transferred to the Excel-file of the PC.

     Meteostation’s installation such as: the interval of data preservation, the position data of the weather-station disposition, the time of the meteorological data dispatch to the server could be set and corrected directly on the Internet site. The installations are placed in the special division for this purpose. There is the division for the possibility of bringing in the telephone numbers for the sms-dispatch and for bringing in the limits of min or max significances for the warning about frosts and other stressful situations there.

     A very powerful division IRIMETR will help you to determine a water balance, accounting next factors: the evapotranspiration coefficient, precipitation, the coefficient of the consumption by the specific crop, the irrigation type, the irrigation effectiveness, the irrigation scheme etc.

     IMETOS is accessible in the different variations and configurations depending on the client demands and the necessity of different meteorological indexes.

     Possible sensors:

–         Precipitation sensor (in mm);

–         The leaf humidity (in min);

–         The air humidity (in %);

–         The air temperature (in Cํ˚);

–         The soil humidity (in % or cBar);

–         The soil temperature (in C˚);

–         The wind speed (in m/sec);

–         The wind direction (in C˚);

–         The Sun radiation (solar activity in w/m2).

     The stations are very plain in the installation and operation. They can be used in any climatic zone and for different crops.

     At the present moment the Unifer company offers the next adapted meteostation IMETOS models for Ukraine: IMETOS ag, IMETOS sm, IMETOS ECHO.

The stations are very universal. Any, even the simplest, base model can be reequipped in any other one.

 To get more detailed information, please, contact to Aleksandr Polegenko,

Unifer Ltd.

Tel:  8 (05536) 2-71-31, 2-71-32

Fax: 8 (05536) 2-71-30, 2-71-33

Mob: 8 (050) 494-34-22

E-mail: apolegenko@unifer.com.ua

Author: Aleksandr Polegenko, the Unifer Ltd.