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Monday, March 7, 2011 - 10:55am

Statewide Weather Stations To Close

A network of more than 80 state weather stations, run by the University of Georgia, will start shutting down in the spring. The farmers, utilities, scientists, and insurance companies rely on the, Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network, to make crucial business decisions.

The 300-thousand dollars needed to run it will dry up July 1st with the start of a new state budget year. It provides highly specific weather data like rainfall totals, drought levels, and soil conditions around the state.

The data helps utility companies predict demand, insurance companies gauge risk and farmers know when to plant crops or water them. University of Georgia professor Dale Threadgill is in charge of the program.

“If you’re like in the blueberry industry and there may be a cold front coming you can use the data on the computer to help project what you might need to do to protect your crop.”

Threadgill says much of the funding came from grants secured by a professor who is no longer at UGA. His position has since been eliminated due to budget cuts.

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