In order to create sustainable and real data base for agriculture in Iraq which can be used for planning and water resources, the Ministry Of Agriculture MOA install an agro-met stations network cover most of the country. The present network of stations contains now more than 50 stations and will be increased in future. Each Agri-Met station is solar powered, using a photovoltaic panel to recharge a lead-acid battery. The stations collect data required for modeling evapotranspiration (ET). Measured parameters include air temperature, precipitation, solar radiation, wind speed and direction, and relative humidity. Some sites have special sensors to measure soil temperature and moisture, and leaf wetness. Most of these Agri-Met stations are configured with sensors, a Campbell Scientific CR 1000 data logger for data collection and processing, and a TX320 METESAT transmitter for data transmission (some of stations use H2221 or SATLINK 2 transmitter) and a GPS sensor.
The network linked with data collecting center located in the Ministry of Agriculture (Baghdad center), where the stations data transfer to this center using METEOSAT satellite communication and will be updated using additional cellular communications. The data tables are transmitted as hourly table as well as daily table for all the sensors parameters. The hourly data used for short term forecasting and forecast verification, while the accumulated data and ET can be used for cost effective irrigation, water and power saving, investigating pesticide application and ground-water contamination issues,…
Agri-Met not only provides information for irrigation water management, all of the current and historical weather information is available on the Agri-Met website for a variety of user applications. Weather data is transmitted hourly from each station, and is almost immediately available on the website. This near-real-time availability of weather data from the Agri-Met network finds many uses.