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New Zealand Plant Protection 69 (2016): 120-125

Functional development of a New Zealand weather station network to improve plant production

W.R. Henshall, G.N. Hill, R.M. Beresford, R.H. Agnew, P.N. Wood and R.R. Marshall


For over 25 years The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd (PFR) and its antecedents have operated a network of weather stations in the main New Zealand horticultural regions. Data from these stations have been applied to the analysis of trials and surveys, and used for the development of disease models and horticultural software. Access to the data has evolved from direct links between each weather station's dial-up modem and the user's computer, to standalone MetWatch software, to the web-based MetWatch Online, and finally to the current Internet Protocol (IP)-based system allowing direct-access via smartphones. The most recent network upgrade, to provide near real-time data via the 3G cellular network, provides the focus for this review of the network and its applications. We discuss opportunities for future development of equipment within the weather station network.

Keywords: weather stations, plant disease, data loggers, environmental data.

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