Agriculture giant Monsanto has announced acquisition of the Climate Corporation, a climate data research company, expecting that its info will help farmers maximize crop yields with fewer resources.
The $930 million cash purchase is set to give the company an upper hand in the quickly expanding field of scientific weather data, something that would put vast amounts of climate information at farmers’ fingertips.
Monsanto said in a press release that the Climate Corporation “has a core set of support tools to benefit farmers. These include products that help them boost yields on existing farmland and better manage risks that occur throughout a crop season.”
The company added that the merger of crops with big data presented a possible $20-billion profit increase across the entire industry.
Monsanto’s chairman and CEO Hugh Grant said that “the Climate Corporation is focused on unlocking new value for the farm through data science… everyone benefits when farmers are able to produce more with fewer resources.”
Grant’s counterpart, David Friedberg of The Climate Corporation said that farmers today are challenged to make key decisions for their farms “in the face of increasingly volatile weather conditions.”
“Because of this we believe there is a real opportunity and value in working with farmers to manage the risks that affect them every year,” Friedberg added.
What makes Climate Corporation special is its array of tools for predicting extremely local events with high precision. Those tools, when incorporated with Monsanto’s software, are expected to greatly improve farmers’ work with field maps, soil data and seeds. Being able to use such software on the move gives farmers an added benefit.
Farmers will be able to access FieldScripts – Monsanto’s satellite-based science software – from their mobile devices while sitting in their tractors. Data received from Monsanto then automatically installs the most favorable settings for planting.
At the moment, the trial version of the software is being tested by around 160 US farmers across 40,000 acres of land, according to the Financial Times.
AFP Photo / Scott Olson