The Austrian Meteorological Service, ZAMG, which is working with its project partners to develop a forecasting system for crop protection, is also counting on public observations. This allows farmers to prepare in time, for example if frost threatens apple production or drought threatens maize.
The population can send a report on the development cycle of plants using the free smartphone application of the meteorological service, “ZAMG Naturkalender”. their observations. They only need to photograph or write if, for example, they have unfolded their flowers in their garden by an apricot tree, or if they see an elderberry bush during the trip.
The data shared through the application is used in a project called PhenObserve A joint program of ZAMG, Joanneum Research and Cloudflight Austria. The aim is to combine data from European Union Sentinel satellites and population observations to predict when crops are threatened by extreme weather. For the time being, the project will focus on protecting against late spring frosts and maize drought, which threatens apple production
This spring, the plants will be roughly one week ahead of the 1981-2010 average. Compared to the previous few years, which are particularly warm, this means that apricots will bloom much later than last year, so the chances are higher that the flowers will not freeze this year.
Phenologically, which the science of observing the seasonal development and phenomena of plants and animals – now spring is coming to an end. Hazelnut bushes, winter cemetery and snowdrops have blossomed, but the golden tree – commonly known as the golden rain or goldenrod – is blooming cheerfully.
Cover photo: Smartphone application of the Austrian Meteorological Service
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