Horizon Point is a custom weather analysis system for farmers. It provides farmers with the opportunity to have site specific weather reports sent directly to their electronic mail address.
The top of the report lists the date on which the report was generated and the specific location for which the report was generated. Because you are able to subscribe to receive reports for several locations, each report contains the name you specified for individual fields. Using unique, descriptive names for your fields allows for easy recognition of multiple fields.
Information Found on All Reports
Precipitation Data and Forecast
The probability of precipitation (POP) is an estimate of the chance of precipitation falling anywhere in the forecast region. If it rains anywhere in the grid, the probability has come true. For example, if the POP is 70%, it means that given the weather situation at the time of the forecast 70% of the time it is expected to have some type of precipitation in the grid. It does not mean that the entire grid will get precipitation 70% of the time or that any particular location within the grid will get precipitation 70% of the time.
Nearest weather station
The rainfall reported is for the period starting at 6 a.m. the date listed to 6 a.m. on the next day. This adjustment from the traditional midnight to midnight precipitation quantity was made to the report so that it could be comparable to the National Weather Service (NWS) estimate.
The precipitation quantity forecast for today and the next 3 days (yellow and pink columns) is from the NWS . The forecast is given on a 17 mile square grid.
Both the historical precipitation and forecast precipitation estimates provided by the NWS cover a 24 hour period beginning in the early morning (6:00/7:00 a.m.) on the day listed.
If you enter information into your report, the number will show up in the "At Farm" row and be used in generating advisories. If you do not enter information, "na," meaning "not available," will appear in that row.
Remember that the precipitation in the NWS row is the precipitation that is obtained for the latitude and longitude that you specified when you subscribed to Horizon Point. The presence of "na" in the "At Farm" row does not mean that you have no location specific precipitation estimate. It only means that you have not entered any information.
To enter measured precipitation into your report go to the Horizon Point website and login to the section entitled "If you have already created a user account" using the username and password that you specified when you first subscribed. Then choose the specific location for which you have rainfall data (note: some subscribers have only one location while others have several. The list of all locations you have will appear.). At the location page, click on "Add location rainfall data" and fill in the data fields to submit your information.
Temperature Data and Forecast
Air Max and Air Min (°F)
The forecasted information is from the National Weather Service and is given on a approximately a 17 mile grid. The forecasted maximum temperature is given for a time period from approximately 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. on the day listed. The forecasted minimum temperature for a day is given for a time period from approximately 8:00 p.m. on the previous day to approximately 9:00 a.m. on the day listed.
Soil Temp 2" (°F)
Estimated Rainfall needed for Runoff
The estimated rainfall needed for runoff is a mandatory component of each subscriber's report. Horizon Point was initially funded by the Environmental Protection Agency as a pilot project to assist with decisions regarding land application of nutrients. The hope is that land managers will not apply nutrients prior to a rain event if they have good information that the nutrients would runoff. Such decisions would save the farmer money because nutrients applied would be available to the crops and protect water quality because agricultural inputs would not enter rivers and lakes.
The current report contains rows for several types of ground cover. Eventually, the manager of the Horizon Point account will be able to choose only the types of ground cover that they want to get the estimates for only those types of ground cover.
The rainfall needed for runoff estimate is obtained by using hydrologic models of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The model uses the rainfall for the last 4 days, the soil hydrologic group and the soil cover to estimate how much rain would have to fall before runoff from the field begins. This number is merely an estimate that can not take into account all factors. For example: hard, driving rains will runoff with less precipitation than estimated; or soil that is saturated and experiencing very little evapotransporation will have runoff before the amount predicted.
Whenever a field was entered into Horizon Point, a soil hydrologic group was specified by the user or selected by administrators in the Commercial Agriculture Horizon Point Program. The estimated rainfall needed for runoff is dependent upon this selection. Occasionally fields will have more than one soil hydrologic group. In such instances, the soil hydrologic group where nutrients are most likely to be applied (where crops are planted or near streams) should be chosen.
Information Selected by the User to Appear on their Report
Spring Planting and Fall Fertilizer Soil Temperature Charts
The soil temperature chart consists of a blue line of mean soil temperature and a red line of this year's soil temperature. The blue mean line is for as many years of data as are available for the agricultural weather station being used. The name of the station being used is in the graph heading. In order to give an indication of the trend in soil temperatures, the graph is for 2 weeks prior to the date of the report to 2 weeks into the future. The graph also indicates the critical decision points by using horizontal gray bars to indicate frozen soil and minimum planting temperatures.
Weed Scouting Aid
The weed scouting aid is composed of 2 sections. The first section lists weeds that could have emerged in your area already depending on the number of growing degree days that have occurred for your area. Particular attention should be given to these weeds while scouting. The names of individual weed species will stay on the report until it is expected that a majority of that species has emerged, and then they will be removed.
The second section estimates when weeds will emerge in your area based on the actual number of growing degree days that has occurred and the normal number of growing degree days that is expected to occur in the future. The emergence date indicates when 10% of the weeds of that species are expected to have emerged.
After all the weed species have emerged, the weed scouting section will not appear on reports even if the subscriber has selected to receive them.
Weeds listed in the report are linked to pictures of the emerging weeds to aid you in identification of the weeds.Grain Drying
The Horizon Point Grain Drying Report predicts the equilibrium moisture content that would be reached for a crop exposed to ambient air conditions hourly throughout the day. The equilibrium moisture content is the moisture content possible assuming the crop is exposed to the air for a long enough period of time. The equilibrium moisture content varies by crop type. The time required to reach the equilibrium moisture content depends upon the volume of air moved through the crop.
Natural air drying in Missouri will eventually reduce the moisture of a stored crop below the market moisture content of the crop. Over-drying removes saleable moisture and reduces the total weight of the crop. The goal of the drying process is to reduce the entire bin to a uniform moisture content suitable for short-term storage and without drying charges deducted at time of sale.
Rainfall Index Monitor
This report is specifically designed to aid in understanding the rainfall index used by the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) for its' Pasture, Rangeland and Forage (PRF) Insurance program. The PRF gridpoint is based on a specific latitude and longitude associated with gridded rainfall estimates from the NWS.
Animal Stress Indices
Should you have any problems with setting up an account or finding the latitude and longitude for your field, contact Horizon Point at 573-882-4827 or HorizonPoint@missouri.edu.