Corn and soybean farmers now have access to new software that can provide them real-time data on current and future weather, soil and crop growth stage information on a field-by-field basis. Climate Corporation formally introduced Climate Basic and Climate Pro Nov. 5 at a press conference in San Francisco.
Climate Basic is a tool to help farmers' daily decision making by providing up-the-minute, field-level information on weather, soil and crop growth stage information.
Key features include hyper-local field-level weather and forecasts, comprehensive historical, current and probabilistic short and long range weather forecasts, including temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind speed, radar imagery, and propriety field workabililty. It also tracks current and projected crop growth stages and soil moisture, provides alerts for extreme weather, daily precipitation and temperature summaries, hail alerts and crop updates. Many growers will use it on their mobile device for crop scouting. The free app is currently available for Android and will soon be available for iphone.
"Climate Basic is really built around the ability for growers to see, in real time, what's happening on each of their fields with regard to past weather and future weather, not only over the next hour but also out over the rest of the growing season and put that in context with what's happening with growth stages, soil moisture and field workability, etc.," explains James Ethington, vice president, product.
"That's the day-to-day, on-the-go management tool -- we are providing the grower with all the information he needs to make decisions constantly."
Climate Pro is a web and mobile service that offers recommendations before and during the growing season that dynamically adjusts to changing weather-related and other field conditions. Key features include a planting advisor – help for selecting optimal planting date and relative maturity for each field based on current conditions and projected seasonal weather; a nitrogen advisor – managing N more effectively by tracking subfield level crop available N and alerts about potential stress due to lack of N before yield is impacted; pest and disease advisor – continuous monitoring of pest and disease risk; variable rate advisor – insight into the subfield variability of each field to better plan variable rate practices; harvest advisor – plan field-by-field harvest based on maturity and grain moisture and evaluate the tradeoffs between increased drying costs and yield loss; and a farm level revenue dashboard for viewing operation-level yield and revenue outcomes and make informed marketing decisions.
"Climate pro deals with the more complex decisions facing growers about cost estimates, analysis, weighing different options as to when to plant, apply nitrogen, etc.," says Ethington. "Basically, we took the day-to-day agronomic decisions in Climate Basic and built them into a more advanced product. It does not replace the grower as the decision maker. It's an additional tool that leverages all the factors."
Increased bottom line
Climate Corporation believes growers can increase profit per acre $100 for corn and $50 for soybeans on average by increasing yield, decreasing cost and saving time, according to Ethington.
Cost for Climate Pro is $15 per acre for corn and $7.50 per acre for soybeans. However, growers must work with their crop insurance agent to sign up for Classic Pro.
Climate Basic was actually made available in February 2013 without fanfare to get it in the field and get feedback from growers. Before sign-up was shut down the end of July, thousands of farmers were using it on 10 million acres, according to Ethington. As of November 5, growers can now again go to www.climate.com to sign up for free.
Ethington notes that rather than launching one big product and charging for that they felt it was best to give growers a chance to experience the powerful parts of Climate Basic for free. "It's really beneficial to us for growers to experience that for free and then if they choose to buy the Pro product they already have an account set up and will be familiar with some of the core aspects such as weather forecasts, growth stages, etc."