FARM: Field Application Resource Monitor

Background

One of the missions of the State Climate Office of Ohio (SCOO; https://climate.osu.edu) is to serve as data stewards to connect Ohioans with the weather and climate information necessary to improve lives. In an effort to provide farmers across the state with sufficient weather guidance, specifically to aid in decisions regarding the application of fertilizer and manure, SCOO has developed FARM, the Field Application Resource Monitor (https://farm.bpcrc.osu.edu/).

FARM is a web-based, mobile friendly tool that provides:

  • Real-time high resolution precipitation forecasts to field(s) of interest (up to five locations),
  • Historical precipitation forecasts (back to July 2017),
  • Daily email notifications if desired (text alerts coming soon).

Originally designed in response to Senate Bill 1 regulations for the Western Lake Erie Basin, FARM can help any farmer throughout Ohio follow best management practices with regard to their precipitation forecast needs.

Precipitation forecasts in FARM are provided via the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Weather Prediction Center (WPC). We utilize the probabilistic forecasts which are based on a combination of WPC's 6-hour quantitative precipitation forecasts and an ensemble of model forecasts. This data is available on a 1.5 mile x 1.5 mile grid, meaning FARM provides precipitation guidance on a local scale.

Again, FARM can be found by visiting /farm.bpcrc.osu.edu/. For more information on creating user profiles, returning, and other features of FARM, please check out http://u.osu.edu/farmprecip for a full tutorial. We have also provided a feedback button on the initial screen and request feedback, suggestions, and improvements as we continue to improve our product.

Using FARM

On the opening screen (first image on the right), users are presented a number of options (yellow arrows) including "View as a Guest", "Create User Profile", and "Returning User.

After selecting "View as a Guest," users will be presented with the following screen:

This is the Field Set-up screen. Here, users will provide the necessary information to locate and delineate the field(s) of choice.

FARM users have the option to select "By Address" or "By Coordinates," and must provide a name for the field(s), enter the address (or latitude and longitude coordinates), then select "Search" (blue arrow). 

Another options is to select the "Use GPS" button (blue arrow) and the site will detect the user's current location (if enabled) and zoom into the area of interest. Finally, clients can zoom into their area of interest using their device's normal zooming capabilities.

Once users have zoomed in and named their field, it is time to draw the boundaries to the field or pin their desired location with a marker (below).

 To use the polygon tool, select the polygon button (yellow arrow), click the desired number of points surrounding the field, then selectfinish or click on the first point that was placed. This will complete the polygon, and a blue outline will appear around the field.

To use a pinpoint location, select the marker button (blue arrow), and then click on the desired location. Once the field has been delineated, click "Save Field" (red arrow).

This will take users to the FARM Dashboard (below). This is the main source of information regarding precipitation forecasts, and there are several key features to point out.

 1. (Yellow Arrow): This provides the time for which forecast conditions are displayed. The default is the forecast nearest the current time. 

2. (Blue Arrow): This displays the current precipitation forecast, at the 50% chance criteria for 12 and 24 hours. Based on this information, a red-light/green-light icon will appear for both fertilizer and manure. These indicate when applications of these materials are either regulated by state law (where applicable) or not recommended as a best management practice.

3. (Red Arrow): This section displays a three-day forecast for your field area, with high and low temperatures, and the overall chance of precipitation displayed below.

4. (Green Arrow): A major component of FARM is the ability to pull a previous precipitation forecast. Clicking in the date box will allow you to select a previous date (back to July 2017) and time (scroll bar on the side). One you hit "Submit," the precipitation forecast for that date and time will be displayed. To return to the current forecast, select "Current Forecast."

5. (Purple Arrows): Those desiring to add additional fields to their dashboard (up to 5 fields) may do so by selecting "Add New Field." Repeat field delineation procedure described above. After completing these steps, users will be returned to their dashboard. All fields will now be displayed on your dashboard.

6. Two additional features to note: 

    • The green/red indicator in the upper right of the screen represents the number of fields where conditions are/are not recommended for application based on the precipitation guidance near the blue arrow.
    • Users may also delete or change the name of their field(s) by selecting "Edit" next to the field name.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If after setting up the field(s) as a guest, users decide that they would like to save their profile, simply return to the home screen by selecting "FARM" at the top of the screen, and select “Create User Profile.” Any fields selected during the “View as Guest” session will be saved to this newly created account. Registered users can receive email notifications (text alerts coming soon.)

Author(s):

About the C.O.R.N. Newsletter

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.