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Managing the Kansas Mesonet for Site Specific Weather Information
1M. Knapp, 1C. Redmond, 2T. Griffin
1. Department of Agronomy, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas
2. Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas

Weather data has become one of the most widely discussed layers in precision agriculture especially in terms of agricultural ‘big data’. However, most farmers (and even other researchers outside of meteorology) are not likely aware of the complexities required to maintain weather stations that provide data. These stations are exposed to the elements 24/7 and provide unique challenges for sustainment during extreme weather conditions. Based upon decades of experience, this paper discusses data acquisition from loggers and peripheral devices in terms of the network architecture. Numerous methods of quality control/assurance is paramount for detection of failure. Sensors measuring solar radiation, air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed/direction, precipitation, barometric pressure, and soil temperature/moisture are discussed. Once data becomes available, the Kansas Mesonet provides that data to a web-based portal for the public to utilize. Farmers and their advisors are able collect real-time and historic data from the portal via html or an application programming interface (API). Mesonet also integrates this data into agricultural tools critical in assisting with producer decision support. Some examples of these integrations include: evapotranspiration calculations, inversion monitoring, growing degree calculations, freeze monitoring and soil temperature decision tools. 

Keyword: Precision agriculture, weather, mesonet, Kansas Mesonet, soil temperature, decision support, weather stations, big data