News Release Article from  Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Governments Expand Network of Ag Weather Stations

January 8, 2016 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The Canada and Manitoba governments are expanding the province's network of automated weather stations after installing 17 new stations in 2015, Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced today.

Manitoba has a total of 61 automated weather stations operated by the provincial government which provide timely, detailed information useful to Manitoba farmers, free of charge. By 2018, the agro-meteorology program will expand to 84 stations.

The minister noted climate change and moisture management as issues raised in the Agriculture Risk Management task force report, which was released in early 2016. An expanded network will give farmers important information on soil conditions, risk assessment for crop diseases and insects, and support decision-making for the crop-residue burning program.

These automated stations are located in areas that best represent the climate of the region. They are solar-powered and communicate wirelessly, allowing them to be set up in remote and rural areas. Measurements of air temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, wind speed and direction and soil temperature are collected, verified and posted to the provincial website hourly. Data from these weather stations will also be used to enhance flood and drought forecasting, precipitation maps, and monitoring severe weather.

Funding for the expansion of the agro-meteorology program comes from Growing Forward 2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets.

Quotes

"The Government of Canada is proud to support the expansion of automated weather station networks. Having enhanced access to weather and climate information will help farmers make important decisions affecting their farm."

- Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay

"This sophisticated equipment has already been extremely useful to farmers throughout the province, providing them with critical information for crop and land management decisions. As the network continues to grow, we are able to provide information, focusing on specific details for more locations."

- Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn

"Improving the provincial network of weather gauging stations will provide more accurate information on rain and snowfall distribution, which can vary significantly across Manitoba watersheds and is the main input that drives hydrological forecast models. Better information enables a more accurate prediction of the amount and timing of runoff and improves flood forecasting during the spring melt."

- Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation and minister responsible for Emergency Measures, Steve Ashton

Additional links

Contacts

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972
Follow us on Twitter: @AAFC_Canada

Caedmon Malowany
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Ron Kostyshyn
204-945-1494


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