NEWA, Network for Environment and Weather Applications

I just learned about Cornell’s NEWA program. In a nutshell, it’s a network of (potentially) hyper-localized weather stations linked into Integrated Pest Management tools. There was a webinar with Maine Cooperative Extension which really impressed me. BUT bizarrely, compatible weather stations in our state are severely lacking. Can anyone explain this to me? Supposedly that will change if Extension gets a grant next year, but I may look into buying our own farm weather station-- there are a couple brands-- (Onset and KestrelMet) which the network works with. With these tools, the very impressive IPM tools are automated to your exact farm location, based (as many ecosystem elements are) on Degree Day Calculations.
So, who out there is using these tools? Is there integration into more sophisticated management software?


Hmm… :thinking: so my suspicions were first aroused when the front page mentioned 2, non-free weather station brands… looking at their Buy a Weather Station page, I note;

The NEWA network does not accept data from other brands or custom-built devices.

Which is odd, networks like Wunderground have been successfully integrating open hardware standards (like WeatherBridge) for over a decade.

This seems like a proprietary standard, that is trying to lock farmers into a couple of closed-source solutions so they can charge you for the privelege of you collecting data for them. :upside_down_face:

It’s a shame, and I’m pretty confused as open hardware for weather monitoring is well established and cheap (see here). :confused:


I think @RaggedStaff is right on here: currently vendor-locked on the hardware, with models loosely attributed (not a full citation), and from the presentation, the Maine extension services have already partnered up with them.

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Sounds similar to the Ag Weather Net (AWN) in Washington State:

They also only allow specific hardware to be included in the network. On one hand it is a bummer but it also makes sense they need some level of standardization. Especially considering that AWN sends many of these insights out publicly in weekly/monthly/time-sensitive reports via email to relevant growers/regions (eg: frost conditions for orchards in Washington) it makes sense they need some degree of “protection” for the data that is being provided.

Ultimately it’s a matter of trust. It would be great if there was a system that allowed for more open participation but still allowed you to set your own thresholds for which hardware/accuracy/locations you want to subscribe to and/or have utilized in derivative models.

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Pardon my French, but giving out state contracts to manufacturers of locked hardware, thereby giving them free marketing materials to pitch their goods to farmers farmers, plus a considerable an advantage on the market more generally, is absolutely fucked. Flagrant graft, imho. Yet I’m not surprised that there are examples of this in other states, like @paul121 pointed out. Probably if you looked hard enough there would be examples in all 50. Also, the documentation is very pretty but fucking useless.

David from OFN Canada was telling me how late last year they and/or some of their commercial partners gave testimony to the CA House of Commons and/or provided some language for a bill to amend the Copyright Act to be more favorable to interoperability.

I’m half-inclined to look further into the Cornell contract, since that’s my home state’s extension office, and raise a stink if I find sufficient cause and enough sympathetic parties to organize with. I know Right to Repair has a strong lobby here in NY. @johnnybroadturn, what do you know about the grant they’re pursuing next year to expand compatibility?