Utilising Digital Tools to Determine Spray Windows
To help with forward planning, utilising best practice techniques, and to aid in making and justifying your decisions, Syngenta have developed a number of tools to assist you. They provide information to assist with key decision making and provide additional data for more informed decisions. Plus, with all these tools being hosted within the integrated hub of Syngenta’s Greencast Services, it’s simple to find all the information you need in one place.
This month we’re talking all about predicting spray windows and then we jump into spray calibration. In next month’s edition of Growth Season Magazine, we’ll talk about the additional in-depth weather forecasting tools and historical weather data service that is also available from Syngenta.
Premium Weather Forecast including spray window recommendations
Syngenta’s Weather Forecast tool is a comprehensive turf-specific weather forecasting and diagnostic tool. Powered by Meteoblue, Syngenta’s weather pulls information not only from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) weather stations but also from additional satellites, radar, and weather balloons. A 5-day weather forecast is available to all users of the Syngenta Turf website. However, to access the premium service, you will need to register you details on the website. Registration is free – just be sure to confirm registration via the link emailed to you.
While a weather forecast cannot be 100% accurate, prediction technology has been in a constant state of improvement since the 1950’s. In the early 1980’s, the 24-hour ahead temperature forecast was considered to be 70% accurate. By 2018 that accuracy had increased to around 90%.
Syngenta’s forecast accuracy is higher than BOM alone due to the additional information sources and the MLM (multi-model approach) which applies weather modelling from the range of sources. Syngenta’s re-analysed datasets use both BOM and ERA5 – the fifth generation ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) atmospheric reanalysis of the global climate covering the period from January 1950 to present. This modelling is continually validated for improvement. An example of what this means in practical terms for the accuracy of the weather forecast, is that the model has a low error of the absolute mean by only 1.5-2°C.
Once you have logged-in, you’ll have access to the Premium Weather Service, which provides a 7-day forecast shown either in a weekly view or an hourly view, with additional information lines. You are able to select your location so that all predictions are relevant for the local area. There are also extra analysis tools that come with the premium weather, including Key Turf Growth Temperatures, a Disease & Weed Risk Index, and a Ground Spraying forecast.
The Ground Spraying section provides a 7-day forecast of weather patterns that affect ground spraying. Which you can use as a guide for when conditions may be favorable for application across the upcoming week. This tool gives you the predicted optimal times to spray during the week with conventional or drift reduction nozzles (to reduce the risk of drift) taking the guess work out of when is ideal to spray.
The Disease and Weed Risk Index is a 7-day forecast based on parameters such as temperature, relative humidity, soil temperature and rainfall. It provides an indication of when conditions are favourable for turf disease development or weed germination, based on weather conditions.
The Key Turf Growth Temperatures section highlights the soil temperature, frost warnings and ground temperature readings across a 7-day forecast. The key indicators of turf growth opportunities.
These are just a few of the sections within Syngenta’s Premium Weather Service that will help determine the best time to spray.
Sprayer Set-up Calculator
In addition to the weather forecast, spray window predictor, and the disease and weed risk index, Syngenta also has an online Sprayer Set-up Calculator available to everyone who visits the Syngenta Turf & Landscape website. It provides easy-to-follow calculations for use when you are setting up your sprayer or checking your sprayer calibration.
The importance of a properly calibrated sprayer cannot be underestimated. Spray equipment can be the thing that separates an efficient application from a poor one. It can complement your turf’s health or, with incorrect application, could undo all your hard work.
Syngenta products, as with all chemicals, work most efficiently when they are applied correctly. Proper application requires knowledge around correct water rates, nozzles, and travel speed with spray equipment. The Sprayer Set-up Calculator provides a series of calculations that can assist with getting these crucial components correct, which in turn minimises risk of incorrect application. In doing so, the tool aids in achieving maximum efficacy from the products you use as a result of the best possible application.
The overall aim of accurate application is a reduction in the chemical applications required per year. This maximises efficiencies, whilst minimising risk to staff, customers, and the surrounding environment.
The Sprayer Set-up Calculator tools is also available on the Greencast Turf App, to help you achieve the best calibration results when you’re out in the field as well as at your desktop.
Additional Greencast Services
There are a number of other tools available in the Syngenta Greencast Services, including:
- Historical Weather Data: an invaluable data source to visualise past weather patterns impacting your specific turf location. Assists with preventative programs.
- Greencast Pro Weather: provides overview mapping of current and forecasted weather patterns; including wind, evapotranspiration, soil temperature and moisture, and more.
- Historical Disease Data: an invaluable data source to visualise past turf disease risk patterns impacting your specific turf location. Assists with program development.
- Live Disease forecast: provides predictive turf disease maps, with a 5-day forecast of specific disease risks across Australia and New Zealand.
- Growing Degree Days (GDD) Calculator: tailored to your location, this is a weather-based tool to predict plant growth and optimal PRIMO® MAXX application timing. The model calculates based on hourly temperatures to give the most accurate prediction of GDD.
- Growing Degree Days Threshold Alerts: allows you to set notifications for when your location’s Growing Degree thresholds are reached across multiple turf surfaces. Giving you advanced warning of when your next application should be scheduled to get the most out of PRIMO® MAXX.
All these tools are aimed at providing key decision-making information to help you get the most out of Syngenta’s innovative products through best practices. To start using these tools, head to the “Turf Tools” section of this website.