What is the "Southern Agricultural Research Center"
The Southern Agricultural Research Center (SARC) is a 440 acre facility located in the heart of the Huntley-Worden Irrigation Project 20 miles east of Billings, Montana. Created as a demonstration farm by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in 1907, the facility evolved into a USDA Bureau of Plant Industries Field Station cooperating with Montana State College and the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) in 1910. Ownership of the station was formally transferred to the State of Montana by a Congressional Patent in 1953. Formal USDA involvement with SARC ended in 1963. Today, SARC is one of seven centers that make up the MAES Research Center System for Montana State University-Bozeman.
The Southern Agricultural Research Center has cooperated with the National Weather Service to provide daily weather observations since 1911. "Official" weather data is currently collected and hand recorded by a volunteer using conventional meterological instumentation. The official data submitted to the National Weather Service is summarized and posted on the world wide web by the Western Regional Climate Center.
Why "Unofficial" Weather Data?
The "unofficial" weather data is an effort to use telemetry to remotely monitor weather conditions that influence crop growth and the development of production problems. The data presented on the "Unofficial Weather Data" page is obtained by a Coastal Environmental System's ZENO 3200 agricultural weather data acquisition system located in the same yard as the official weather station instumentation. Data from the ZENO 3200 weather station is relayed by radio telemetry once a minute to a computer. Within a matter of seconds, the unofficial data is formatted into a HTML document and posted on SARC's World Wide Web server. This document can be viewed by anyone possessing Internet access and a web browser. Future documents will summarize daily, monthly and yearly weather data as well as weather-related crop information.
Return to today's weather data.