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Starting in the fall of 2023, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will begin identifying potential new weather station locations for expansion of the Minnesota Ag Weather Network. The expansion will occur throughout the main crop production areas of Minnesota. Funding for the Minnesota Ag Weather Network expansion was provided by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. The goal of the expansion is to provide agricultural producers with reliable real-time local weather data and weather-related ag tools to guide decisions for effectively managing nutrient inputs and water usage, appropriately time crop chemical application, and reduce leaching and runoff. Accurate and timely weather information is necessary for many precision agriculture technologies and best management practices. This will help farmers optimize management decisions which improves farm profitability, reduces loss of agricultural inputs, and protects surface water and groundwater.

The initial expansion of approximately 40 weather stations will occur in cooperation with several partners over the next two to three years. There will be a separation distance of approximately 18-20 miles between stations. If you are a public and private landowner and are interested in volunteering to host new stations, please:

  1. Review and consider the criteria below;
  2. Review the map where stations tentatively are being located; and
  3. If you think you have a suitable location, complete the following application.

View a map and learn more.

Please review and consider the following criteria before completing the application.

Ideal Site

While not always possible the ideal site has the following characteristics:

  • Relatively flat, open acre
  • No obstructions (bushes, fences, tree rows, structures, etc.) within a distance of ten times their height
  • No large patches of pavement within 100 feet
  • No structures within 300 feet
  • Soil common to the area
  • Not in a high spot or a low spot in the landscape
  • Not too close to irrigation, lakes, etc.
  • Accessible year round with a four-wheel drive pickup truck
  • At least one bar of Verizon cellular signal

Space Needed

The weather station equipment is contained within an area of about 30 feet x 30 feet. The station needs short vegetation within 100 feet (no pavement) and no structures within 300 feet.

Length of Operation

The intent is to operate the station 50 years or longer.

Access Frequency

After installation, the station will require a regular maintenance check of at least twice per year by a Minnesota Ag Weather Network technician, once in the spring and once in the fall. Additional site visits may be required to correct equipment malfunctions.

Access Agreement

A signed access agreement between the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the property owner will be required.  The agreement outlines the responsibilities of both parties.

Host or Cooperator Responsibilities

Weather station hosts or cooperators will be partners of the weather network and will report visual damage or problems to the MDA, carry out minor maintenance tasks such as clearing snow off the solar panel or similar, and act as a point of contact for the MDA if a malfunction occurs on the weather station.

Tower Details

  • The tower is about 33 feet tall
  • There are three permanent concrete piers
  • A camera is deployed (it can be restricted to not show a private residence)
  • Small amounts of herbicide are used to create a bare soil temperature plot.
  • A temporary shallow soil pit will be dug nearby to provide context and aid in the installation and interpretation of soil moisture readings.


Contact information
Contact information

To find the latitude and longitude zoom into a location on Google Maps and right click on the spot.

Other sites on the property may also be suitable