By Dr. Robb Fraley
Chief Technology Officer
One of my most vivid memories from growing up on a farm is sitting at the dinner table with my father on a hot July night. A storm was brewing and my father kept watching it out the window, hoping for the rain to break right on our farm, to end the drought we’d had that summer.
Unfortunately, the clouds rolled by and broke in the next county over. Our harvest was tough that summer and I’ve never forgotten the strain it caused.
Farmers have always had to deal with weather variability, and climate change is adding increased stress. Farmers need new tools to help monitor, predict and guard against changes in weather patterns that might affect their crops.
That’s why we acquired Climate Corp., a company specializing in full-season, hyper-local weather monitoring, agronomic data analysis and weather simulations to provide actionable insights for farmers of all land sizes and methods. Partnering their efforts with our R&D capabilities will make new, real-time information available to farmers about the external factors that may impact their harvests. If we can share this important data with farmers and help improve their productivity when facing weather challenges like drought, we can ultimately better utilize the planet’s resources.
I’ve seen firsthand how hard dealing with drought can be, on my family farm and other farms around the world, and I’m excited about how advanced analytics, data science and new innovations will empower farmers to better manage their fields. Having real-time weather data, right in your hand, is invaluable to a farmer. Had my father had this technology years ago, he wouldn’t have had to sit anxiously at the window, only to be disappointed. He would have known what was coming, been protected and prepared to move forward.
I’m so proud of the work we do to help make that scenario an everyday reality, to arm farmers with new information and technology tools that can make their lives easier and their harvests better. Through improved seeds, insect protection, field analysis for precision planting and now actionable insights into challenging weather conditions, I’m optimistic about how innovations will continue to improve the experience of farmers globally and, in turn, how food security can improve in the process.
Photograph by David Wagner via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.