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Grape growers require a host of information on current weather conditions for many management decisions such as pesticide and fertilizer applications. To best aid them in this, the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program (LERGP) has partnered with the Network for Environment and Weather Applications (NEWA) to provide growers with local weather and forecast data. Initiated in 2009, the program has met with much success and was consequently expanded over the following ten years. LERGP currently owns and operates 23 weather stations to give the fruit and vegetable growers along the Lake Erie escarpment the most up-to-date weather information possible.
The NEWA website is designed for farmers with everything from a growing degree calculator to pest forecasts and soil temperature maps. NEWA currently has 650 weather stations across 12 states in the Northeast and Mid-west. 96% of NEWA users reported that the program helped improve their spray timings and reduce crop loss.
Trouble shooting can be completed from the NEWA website using the guide or by contacting LERGP. Weather stations owned by LERGP were funded through grants, therefore, the expansion is limited to when funding is available. However, if growers would like to purchase their own weather station for their farm, they can contact NEWA directly to discuss installation.