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2 Mesonet stations receive state funds

The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board, chaired by Gov. Steve Beshear, approved the WKU Research Foundation Inc. for $2,315 each in Hardin and Barren County Agricultural Development Funds for the addition of soil moisture/temperature and leaf wetness sensors to the Kentucky Mesonet stations located in each county.

“I am committed to creating opportunities that will make Kentucky’s agricultural community stronger,”  Gov. Beshear said.  “Projects such as this one funded by the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board play an integral role in achieving this goal by providing farmers valuable information to make best management decisions.”

The Kentucky Mesonet is a statewide network of automated weather and climate monitoring stations.  Meteorological data is collected every five minutes and is available at http://www.kymesonet.org.  The Kentucky Mesonet is the official source of climatological observations for the Commonwealth. Using the current data available, farmers can make decisions for their day-to-day operations.

This project was one of the 17 proposals approved at the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board’s October business meeting.

“We are appreciative of this award from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board,” Dr. Foster said. “It reflects local support from the agricultural community.  By adding soil and leaf wetness monitoring capabilities, the Kentucky Mesonet will become an even more valuable resource for farmers.”

Since the Mesonet’s first station at the WKU farm in Warren County became operational in May 2007, 51 stations have been installed toward a goal of 100 stations statewide. Initial funding for the project was secured by U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell through a $2.9 million federal appropriation for the Kentucky Climate Center, part of WKU’s Applied Research and Technology Program in the Ogden College of Science and Engineering.

Contact: Stuart Foster, (270) 745-5983 or stuart.foster@wku.edu.

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