Precise Rainfall Measurements

Accurate rainfall measurements are invaluable to growers. That’s why our Rainfall product is such a cornerstone of Morning Farm Report, the online delivery infrastructure for all of our products. When we release Morning Farm Report in early 2015, we’re confident that growers will benefit from Rainfall and all the other data we provide. There are many companies out there that provide rainfall measurements, so what makes ours any different? Well, we’re a team of big data scientists, so we decided to go a bit bigger with our rainfall visualizations. With our big data view, you can see how your rainfall compares across the country, agricultural statistical district (ASD), and the state, or even a map of US rainfall for the past 30 days.

The Beginning of Ag Informatics

Back in 2007, one of our founders, Bill Northcott, started Spatial Rainfall Consulting (SRC), which provided accurate rainfall measurement for growers all across the United States. Accurate rainfall measurements play a vital role is assessing crop health, and SRC allowed growers to make critical operational decisions without wasting time driving from field to field checking rain gauges. Bill and the other Ag Informatics founders realized the value of this tool and saw the potential in creating a whole range of tools based around Rainfall data. Now Rainfall is one of many products we offer through Morning Farm Report that helps growers increase productivity. 

Delivering Rainfall Data to You

To create Rainfall, we take raw data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service (NWS), among other sources, and process it with our custom big data infrastructure. After all the raw data has been processed and ingested, we perform quality checks to locate any bad data and fill in accurate replacement values when possible. From there we can provide accurate rainfall measurements for specific fields. 

We didn’t want to stop there, though, especially when we could do so much more. When we say that we make big data work for you, we mean it. Morning Farm Report’s big data view is unique and tailored for your operation. We process the entire country for field-level Rainfall so you can see where you stand across the county, ASD, and the state. We even calculate it for the entire US market in the lower 48 states. That’s millions of data points processed for you. Below is an image of the ASD Champaign, Illinois is located in. It shows the weekly range of rainfall for that district, with the red dots showing where example fields fall within that range. The red dots align with how much rain fell at that field and what percentile the field falls into for that ASD. 

For an example of what this Big Data view does from a grower’s perspective, let’s think back to the drought of 2012. At our research farm in Illinois, we began to worry that we weren’t going to make our contracts for that year. During July, right before pollination, we received a serious rescue rainfall that was very localized. Our Big Data View would’ve shown that we were very lucky compared to the rest of the county and extremely lucky at the state level; our farm would perform better than almost anyone around. Our contracts could be made and we could sell more grain at a higher price. A big data view paints quite a different picture than just a single rainfall value for each field. It’s sort of like looking up at the stars compared to see the whole galaxy at one time.

Here’s an example of what the State-level big data view will look like:

This is something we’ve been dreaming about for years, and we are so happy to bring it to you.

For more information on Rainfall or Morning Farm Report, contact us at