THE $9.3 million Wimmera weather radar is taking shape with the final piece of exterior infrastructure now in place.
Located at Pullut, 10 kilometres south of Rainbow, the radar will address a gap in the weather radar network and help Wimmera and Southern Mallee farmers make more time critical farming decisions.
Works on the Doppler radar started in June. This week the radar antenna and dome on top of its 22 metre cylindrical tower were placed. The radar now stands at 27 metres high.
Funding for the radar was first announced in April 2016 and a location was chosen for the project in November last year.
The radar is being built by Agriculture Victoria and will be operated by the Bureau of Meterology.
Bureau of Meteorology project manager Paul Martin said the new installation was an important milestone for the project.
"The tower itself weights a hefty 32 tonnes and was erected using two cranes," he said.
"The golf ball dome now adds an extra five metres to the height to the structure and will be accessible to the Bureau's technicians via a spiral staircase located inside of the tower."
Mr Martin said the installation of the radar itself and the testing of the equipment would take time.
Agriculture Victoria export development and investment strategy director Melinda Knapp is leading the Rainbow Weather Radar Steering Committee.
She said the project was on track to be operational by April 2020.
"We anticipate great benefits to the local community through the improvement of real-time weather information," she said.
"This is particularly important to the region's farmers who will soon have better access to the weather and rainfall information they need to make important time-critical farming decisions about harvesting, tillage and the use of chemicals and fertilisers."
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox twice weekly from the Wimmera Mail-Times. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Wimmera, sign up below.