Georgia growers who get weather information using the University of Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network (AEMN) will have to look elsewhere unless private funding can be found before July 1.
Budget cuts and personnel changes are the reasons for the closing, announced on the AEMN Web site, www.georgiaweather.net.
“Unless $300,000 per year in ongoing support becomes available from one or a few major sources in the very near future, we will begin to dismantle individual AEMN stations on April 15,” according to the announcement.
The university’s extensive network of automated weather stations operate in most of the ag production areas across the state. Each of 81 stations records rainfall, air and soil temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, solar radiation, soil moisture, and barometric pressure.
Some stations also record evaporation, water temperature, and leaf wetness. All these values are read every second and averaged and recorded every 15 minutes on site and downloaded. That data is processed and made available at the above-mentioned Web site at no cost. It’s updated at least every hour.
In addition to weather data, various weather-based products, such as degree-day calculators and rainfall calculators, are also available on the Web site.
For further information, contact AEMN manager Ian Flitcroft at email@example.com.