Lowestoft farmer saves valuable time using weather app
23rd October 2023
Having 1,400ha of cereal crops spread across 40 miles posed certain challenges for Suffolk farmer John Collen. He managed to save valuable hours of driving and employee management time using the convenient hyper-local weather app from Cordulus Farm that empowers his decision making.
John Collen was born on the farm his father bought back in 1962 and has worked on it for as long as he can remember. Nowadays, John and his team of seven full-time employees farm 1,400ha, producing cereal crops on fields spread across 40 miles.
But managing everything was time consuming since John had to drive to the different fields to determine if the weather was suitable on the fields – “driving 30,000 miles in my car a year is not unusual,” he said. He needed a convenient solution that allowed him to confidently delegate work without having to put eyes on the fields first. And John found such a solution in Cordulus.
Cordulus provides an all-inclusive rental solution with a physical weather station and smartphone app which John got in March 2023. Beforehand, he relied on manual recordings and several weather apps.
At first, John doubted it measured correctly. Once during a heavy downpour, he’d been sure they got 10mm but Cordulus only showed 6mm. That led him to believe the manual rain gauge was more detailed: “So we compiled the digital and the physical measurements and found that Cordulus represented the same measurements as the physical.” So, while he still has the rain gauge, his only interaction with it nowadays is to tip it in the morning.
All his weather data is now handled by Cordulus with its real-time measurements and historical recordings and that has proven to be very useful in his daily farm management. John uses Cordulus for all sorts of weather-related management decisions. Where he once had to allocate work without knowing the hyper-local weather conditions for certain, he now has a data-driven foundation for decision making. It’s really convenient for John not to bother having to drive to a field only to see that it’s too wet, windy, or cold for drilling, spraying, or harvesting.
The Cordulus weather station accurately measures 10 different weather parameters and sends the data to the app every 10 minutes. John can freely decide which employees on his farm get access to the app. One of John’s farmers who manages his own workload regularly benefits from using Cordulus’ Spraying Dashboard since he “has got the app on his phone and can lay in bed at 5 in the morning and tell if he’s got get up to go spraying”.
It’s one thing to look at what has happened, another is proactively planning on what’s going to happen. Cordulus lets its subscribers connect to five additional weather stations in the network. John connects to other weather stations in the network to see the weather’s movement by cross-referencing radar with Cordulus’ data. This tells him where the rain is and how the weather is moving, allowing him to plan ahead.
Dedicated support from day one
When John received his first weather station, it had been damaged during shipping. He contacted customer support and said: “I thought I would have to send back individual parts but they came to pick it up and sent a new one.”
Throughout the process, “everything I needed to know was passed on and clearly communicated”. When the weather station arrived, it worked and it’s been going strong ever since: “Installation was very straightforward, it was really well made, and the app was easy to navigate.”
Since its installation, the weather station has worked consistently without gaps of service as it uses tried and tested, GSM mobile-network infrastructure. When asked if he would recommend Cordulus to a colleague or friend, he responded: “I have done so and will, of course, do so.”
A reliable local network
Cordulus has been busy building connections in the UK. The Danish company has established a local warehouse and a local level of phone-support at Soames Engineering in Suffolk to ensure that British farmers get the best weather solution available.
Cordulus currently operates in 11 countries and has more than 3,000 ag-weather stations in the densest network in Northern Europe. With the DNA of cooperatives firmly embedded in its roots, Cordulus partnered with Fram Farmers and Mole Valley Farmers to cultivate value for as many British farmers as possible, whether it’s arable, grazing, or mixed.
And as Gordon Cummings from Fram Farmers succinctly puts it: “It was clear that the system worked well, the connection was excellent, and the app was easy to use,
but the backup and support from Cordulus was second to none.”
Cordulus has become an incredibly valuable part of not only John’s but thousands of farmers’ everyday toolkit.
Find out more HERE.