MetService partnering with farm management company to provide rural sector with pinpoint weather data

Ever wanted to know exactly what the weather's doing at your place? Farmers now can.

MetService is partnering with a farm management company to provide the rural sector with pinpoint weather data they can access on a smartphone.

Andrew Horsbrugh started growing walnuts in West Melton more than 20 years ago. Now he has 45 hectares worth of them.

"This time of year is harvest so the walnuts drop, the trees drop their walnuts for about six weeks a year and we pick them up," he said.

To help get the best produce possible he uses a sensor to get real-time data about his soil.

"We're fully irrigated and we determine when we irrigate when the CropX soil sensor said we should."

And now MetService is partnering with CropX to combine their data and send pinpoint weather information straight to a farmer's phone.

"You can have in one day four seasons and that's hard to predict and forecast, you need to have speciality in this location," said Eitan Dan, from CropX New Zealand.

"The piece of equipment will allow to understand what is happening at and just below ground level. That includes moisture, temperature and also the conductivity between the sensors to understand what's in the soil as well," added MetService CEO Stephen Hunt.

It aims to help farmers make better decisions for their land and for the environment.

"We're using resources responsibly, we're not leeching any nutrients and we've created the perfect conditions to optimise growth," Horsbrugh said.

MetService hopes that information will also help farmers respond to extreme weather.

"They could better predict what the impacts will be of a severe weather event. And after the event they'll be able to understand what has happened," Hunt explained.

Hunt said the tech could even be used in the future to provide a better understanding of the land in urban areas.

"Whether it's parks and garden, whether it's electrical infrastructure and assets. Gas, power, water, anything that matters in or around the land," he said.

Land that can be better protected and managed.