The Benefits of Agrometeorology

The processes of Meteorological monitoring and agriculture productivity work concomitantly with one another, because every aspect of agricultural activity relies on the weather. Meteorological considerations must take place when analysing the growth and harvest of plants, as their development is a combined result of genetics and their response to the environment. The need for precise weather information is also more prevalent due to the impact of climate change, which is causing unpredictable meteorological patterns. Therefore, with the use of quantitative data, agrometeorological planning and research, agrometeorologists can ensure farmers meet the demands for food and agricultural by-products.

This type of methodology is called response farming which directly refers to farmers improving their profit by closely monitoring the weather and acting accordingly. There are numerous benefits which arise from taking this meteorological monitoring seriously. Farmers pay the most consideration to rainfall, as without rain famers produce can cease to grow and heavy rainfall can over expose and ruin crop. Therefore, by predicting the weather farmers can plant their produce after a drought and hose it with any available water. During rainfall they can cover their crop with plastic sheeting and postpone the sowing of other produce. In reflection of this, Gambia typically stores their groundnuts outside and if the pods get wet they are highly susceptible to develop aflatoxin, which can completely ruin crop; to avoid this happening farmers cover the nuts with plastic sheeting. More rigorous ways of accessing rainfall link to irrigation which involves taking water balance calculations, estimating the infiltration of water within crop, measuring evapotranspiration and soil moisture. In particular, soil moisture can be measured by using a Soil Moisture & Temperature Sensor and this helps to deduce whether the soil has enough water retained in it to help the crops grow.

Aside from the effects of rainfall, there are many other aspects of meteorology that affect agriculture. Wind and humidity can drastically affect crops through events such as forest fires and by observing these weather issues agriculturalists can control the burning and prevent the spread of fire. This in turn will allow for farming animals to graze on unharmed crops, providing more money to the economy. Moreover wind can also be measured in less endangering occurrences, such as strong gusts, and in such an event fixtures will need to be attached to crops to allow them to stay upright and not damage. Another basic practice which can be implemented into a farmers day to day routine is planting crops near shady areas, such as large trees, and by doing so they can ensure their plants are not overly exposed to sunlight and grow to their full capacity. Therefore, by applying this rationale to farming, farmers can increase yield and produce larger, quality harvests.

Slip Risk in Restaurants

Slips and trips are the most common cause of injury and fatality in the restaurant industry. It is a legal requirement for companies to ensure the health and safety of their employees and anyone who may be affected by their work. This can be achieved by taking precautionary measures to lessen the chances of slipping. The most common cause of slips is wet floors; however, it is reported that many companies attempt to clean their wet surfaces but do so incorrectly. A solution which many try is to cover the affected area with a cardboard cut-out, which instead creates a surfboard motion for anyone who walks over it and rapidly increases the chances of slipping. The best solution is to wipe the area with a clean, dry tissue which prevents chemicals worsening the state of the surface. Therefore, by taking the issue of cleaning seriously in the workplace and training employees correctly, kitchens can reduce the chances of slipping significantly. The consequences of not cleaning effectively can be seen in a case study titled ‘Chef slips and suffers severe arm burns from hot oil’ by HSE. In this case study it is reported that a Chef, while on duty at work, slipped as he walked over a pool of water and burned his outstretched arm in nearby hot oil. HSE had previously warned the company about their wet floors in an inspection and because of this they were fined £14,000. Therefore, this incident could have been avoided if correct precautionary measures had taken place.

Another cause of slips in the workplace, which many businesses fail to address, is a poorly structured floor. Consequently, this means that even with efficient cleaning, the risk of slipping cannot be lowered. In case of such a problem it is good practice to frequently measure the dynamic coefficient of friction. This can be done by using a skid resistance tester, as this product gives an indication of how slippery a floor is. If the instrument indicates that the surface is slippery, it would then be necessary to replace the flooring with a high traction material. However, this does not eradicate the need for good cleaning practise and it is also beneficial to make sure that all employees wear slip resistant soles and low heels.

If you would like further information on assessing and managing slip risk in restaurants, please get in touch via email (info@munroinstruments.com) or by phone (+44 (0) 20 8551 7000).