Reliable weather prediction and efficient irrigation practices are essential for modern agriculture. Advanced technology such as the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and drones allow precise atmosphere monitoring. The EU-funded MAGDA project will develop a toolchain for atmosphere monitoring and weather forecasting, and an exact weather/irrigation/crop monitoring advisory, with GNSS (including Galileo) at its core to deliver valuable information to agricultural operators. The project will exploit the potential of assimilating GNSS-derived, drone-derived and Copernicus EO-derived data sets to improve the prediction of severe weather events and weather-driven agriculture pests and diseases. The improved weather forecast will in turn drive a hydrological model for irrigation performance and water accounting.
The MAGDA project aims at developing a toolchain for atmosphere monitoring, weather forecasting, and severe weather/irrigation/crop monitoring advisory, with GNSS (including Galileo) at its core, to provide useful information to agricultural operators. MAGDA will exploit the untapped potential of assimilating GNSS-derived, drone-derived, Copernicus EO-derived datasets, in situ weather sensors into very high-resolution, short-range (1-2 days ahead) and very short-range (less than 1 day ahead) numerical weather forecasts to provide improved prediction of severe weather events (rainfall, snow, hail, wind, heat and cold waves) as well as of weather-driven agriculture pests and diseases to the benefit of agriculture operations, also in light of ongoing effects of climate change. These targets will be achieved by setting up a database of variables of interest, and an assimilation system to feed a numerical weather prediction model, which in turn drives a hydrological model for irrigation performance and water accounting to assess water use and related productivity. In addition to already existing observational networks, new dedicated networks of sensors, including GNSS and drones, to monitor atmospheric variables at high spatial resolution will be deployed in the vicinity of large farms and cultivated areas, to provide data with high spatial and temporal resolutions for the assimilation into the weather model. The delivery of the augmented forecasts and irrigation advisories to farmers will be enabled by a dedicated dashboard and APIs to already existing Farm Management Systems. The tools developed within MAGDA will represent the technical and methodological components based on which services to support agricultural operations will be defined.