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.
A few days ago we talked about weather and Micro-Agronomy, now we are going to look at a bigger scale.
Besides knowing how local weather affects their own yields, growers also want information that will help them optimally market their crop. For this we need to know how weather is affecting crops across the entire Corn-Belt, not just in our backyards. Is there predictive weather information that can help? Is it possible to correlate historic temperature or precipitation data with crop prices in a way that would help us know, perhaps a few weeks ahead, if crop prices are likely to go up or down? Of course we know that there are other factors besides weather that impact crop prices, such as foreign production, international demand, support prices, just to name a few. However, weather is the predominant factor affecting total US grain production which drives crop prices. So, it would therefore be of interest for us to know how seasonal weather variations might affect total corn or soybean production. Much controversy has been made of late regarding changes in the earth’s ambient surface temperature, so let’s start there. USDA yield data and weather data from the Midwest Regional Climate Center (MRCC) over the last 50 years or so have provided some insights. Here is what the data tells us.
It is human nature to find ourselves wishing for a kind of weather other than what we are currently experiencing. Too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry….we all want to live in Camelot where it rains only at night, winter is forbidden till December, and spring starts precisely on the 21st of March. But while weather variability is inevitable, every farmer has two real interests in the weather: how it affects their own yields (Micro-Agronomy) and how it can affect their crop marketing decisions by impacting total U.S. harvest numbers (Macro-Agronomy).
While we all have some idea about how weather affects crops locally, it’s no longer enough to follow Growing Degree Days (GDD) and rainfall and assume we have done our part. In order to achieve ‘optimal’ response to nutrient applications, we have to know what’s happening in the soil, and how plants are responding to temperature, rainfall, humidity, and wind. In order to continue farming in a competitive environment growers need to know how they can take advantage of those changes in the weather.
A few weeks ago, we began the testing phase of Morning Farm Report, which is our new platform for showcasing all of our products. One of the key features of Morning Farm Report is our Field Intel API, which gives access to the primary data that we use in all of our calculations and models.
The Field Intel API not only powers our own products, but is also available to use to build your own data-driven applications. Data provided is spatially correct for scientific usage in any agronomic calculation at the agricultural field scale, and includes information on rainfall, temperature, and Growing Degree Days (using the 86/50 method).
Morning Farm Report is the delivery platform for our data products. We offer many different products that growers can use to make data-driven decisions. The first is Rainfall, which is field specific, real time, and can be used to make simple planning decisions based on rainfall. Did it rain too much for in general for planting?
We also offer Field Intel, which is a data science-based product. We use crop models to aggregate weather data into growth stage related bins. Forecasts through historical data are available at an ag-field scale.