The Agricultural Meteorology Unit, established in Met Éireann in 1965, has the primary aim of helping to make better use of meteorological information in Irish agriculture.
It achieves this in four main ways:
1. By supporting farmers directly
Working with other divisions within Met Éireann, the Agricultural Meteorology Unit supports products and services that farmers can access directly. These include recent observations (e.g. soil temperatures, rainfall totals & solar radiation), soil moisture deficit maps, blight warning, daily farming forecasts as well as the weekly farming forecast on TV.
2. By supporting agricultural advisors
Specialised agro-meteorological products are provided to government agencies to assist in national decision support systems. Examples include the provision of fire warning indices to the Forestry Service, liver fluke severity forecast to the National Liver Fluke Advisory Group and the provision of dispersion model capabilities to assist the Department of Agriculture in times of a foot and mouth disease outbreak.
3. Through collaborative research
The unit is constantly engaged in agrometeorological research projects with other government organisations (largely Teagasc) as well as universities. Current areas of research include the areas of grass growth, potato blight and evapotranspiration.
4. By supporting the AGMET group
AGMET, which has the full title ‘Joint Working Group on Applied Agricultural Meteorology’ is a voluntary organisation whose members are mostly professionals working in agrometeorological disciplines in Ireland. AGMET acts as a hub for this community holding conferences, publishing books and promoting collaborations. Met Éireann’s Agricultural Meteorology Unit traditionally convenes the AGMET Group.
Agri-Meteorological Data including Soil Moisture Deficits, Evaporation, Potential Evapotranspiration, Actual Evapotranspiration and Runoff can be found here