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August 17, 2010   Email to Friend 

By Debra Davis
(334) 613-4187
August 17, 2010

Area Organization Director Boyd Deal, left, and Federation member Tommy Thompson of Covington County compares a rain gauge measurement against RainWave. It was no contest for Thompson, Thompson, who said the daily email report tells exactly how much rain has fallen in a particular field in the last 24 hours. "Otherwise, I might have to drive as far as 25 miles just to see if we got a rain on that field," said Thompson.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Few things impact the livelihood of farmers more than the weather, particularly rain. Too much or too little rain can mean the difference in making or losing a crop, or having food for livestock.

Using the latest computerized technology from RainWave Precipitation Monitoring System, along with a discount for Alabama Farmers Federation members, farmers now have a better way to measure rain.

RainWave is especially suited for farmers like Tommy Thompson of Covington County. The computerized rain collection data lets him know with great accuracy how much rain fell in a particular field. He receives an email report from MyRainReport.com each day following a rain event.

"We live in Gantt, but I farm all over Covington County," said Thompson, who has 1,800 acres of peanuts and cotton, several poultry houses and 250 brood cows. "The weather dictates how I plan my entire day. This monitoring system sends me a report each day by email and tells me exactly how much rain has fallen in a particular field in the last 24 hours. Otherwise, I might have to drive as far as 25 miles just to see if we got a rain on that field."

Thompson was among several farm leaders in the Federation who participated in a pilot program for RainWave. In addition to receiving daily emails, Thompson also continued to monitor rainfall using traditional rain gauges in his fields.

"I can tell you it was very accurate," Thompson said of the computerized readings he received for about a year. "It is amazing how accurate it was. I know sometimes you'll see on television that it's raining in a certain location, but when you get there it hasn't rained a drop. With this system, if it says it rained in a particular spot, you can count on it -- it rained there."

The RainWave system is a valuable tool for farmers who irrigate, too. It can help them fine tune plans for potential water and energy savings.

The accuracy of a traditional rain gauge can be affected by a number of things: forgetting to check or empty the gauge daily, obstructions and physical damage by the elements. In addition to eliminating those factors, the RainWave system also archives collected data for clients.

Federation Organization Department Director Mike Tidwell said RainWave is very beneficial to farmers but benefits others as well.

"If people just have a garden, collecting rainfall data is very useful," Tidwell said. "If they're members of the Federation, this discount could prove to be very valuable."

RainWave uses leverage Doppler-based feeds with its proprietary software to collect the data. Customers need only sign up for the program, pay the monthly fee, give the company the latitude and longitude of the location to be monitored (which can be found on the MyRainReport.com Web site) and provide the email addresses the reports are to be sent to.

"MyRainReport.com is proud to be a part of the Federation's Affiliate Partnership Program," said Curt Cope, CEO of MyRainReport.com. "We have a great respect for the Federation and its commitment to Alabama farmers. By partaking in the Affiliate Program, our goal is to offer landowners an affordable tool that will enable them to access rainfall data on their property without the effort that has been necessary up to this point. We provide reliable information, and we do it in a way that simplifies a necessary but often mundane daily task for the farmer, making property management much more efficient and precise."

Alabama Farmers Federation members receive a 10 percent discount on monitoring services, and the one-time set-up fee normally charged to RainWave clients is free to Federation members.

RainWave clients have a variety of plans to choose from. The company offers customers a daily report, a monthly report, a daily and monthly report and a threshold alert. Prices range from $9 to $13.50 per month, depending on which plan is selected (this price includes the membership discount).

Federation members can purchase the RainWave service by visiting MyRainReport.com. For more information, email customerservice@myrainreport.com, sales@myrainreportcom or call toll free at (877) 334-8520.

Federation members can get the promotion the code by logging into the AlfaFarmers.org web site and place their order online or by phone.

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