Applewood installs hi-tech weather station - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Applewood installs hi-tech weather station

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(09/11/12) - The historic Applewood estate was home to the Mott Family for more than 80 years. It was built in a simpler time, when many Mid-Michigan families lived off the land. Now a new "hi-tech" device recently installed on the estate will help modern day growers, big and small. With a simple "mouse click", more weather data is available than ever before.

Applewood is home to early 20th Century architecture, flower and vegetable gardens, and even a heritage apple orchard. Now, a piece of the 21st Century calls this place "home" too.

"Just a couple of weeks ago, we had this weather station installed here at the Applewood Estate," says Mike Belco, a pest management specialist at Applewood. At a cost of $10,000, the station has all the traditional weather instruments, as well as several new ones that measure soil moisture, soil temperature and solar radiation.

"People, even in their home gardens, can use the data from the weather station to determine management decisions for things like how much to water or irrigate their crop, or pest management decisions," Belco said. The device fills an important gap between other devices across the state, allowing local growers more information.

"Farmers will be clicking into the station, all the way from Frankenmuth down into northern parts of metro Detroit area, and all the way over towards Lansing and Lapeer," said MSU Extension Fruit Educator Bob Tritten.

The weather station is now part of a network of nearly 70 weather stations, run by Michigan State's Enviroweather.

"It truly will aid traditional farmers as well as some of the more urban audiences and urban farming that is going on here in Flint," Tritten said.

Urban farming has increased over the past few years, as more and more people turn abandoned property into micro-gardens for the neighborhood.

Another advantage to this new style of weather station is it's low-power footprint.

Belco sums it up this way: "It's run by a battery that is solar powered, so environmentally friendly as well."

For more information on Enviroweather, click HERE.

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