What is ag weather?
Ag weather, short for “agriculture weather” is the term used to comprehensively indicate the impact weather has on the agriculture industry and the information used to make decisions to manage those impacts.
The use of weather information in agriculture has many applications. For example:
- An agricultural producer will look at precipitation and wind forecasts for the next 24 to 48 hours to plan fertilizer applications. The producer seeks to minimize costs by not having to fertilize a 2nd time if it’s washed off the crop by rain. Likewise, the producer seeks to spray a fertilizer only when the wind speed and direction are such that the droplets won’t drift onto a neighbor’s fields.
- A grain elevator will monitor weather conditions over the past few days to months to estimate the grain yield near their elevator. The elevator wants to ensure it secures sufficient grain volume to fill it’s elevators and minimizing revenue risk. The basis of the grain in their local market varies with weather conditions.
- A grain trader uses information from the 12Z NOAA GFS weather forecast model update to trade fluctuations in grain futures prices that occur as the model is released at 11 AM central time each day.
- Weather-based grain yield forecasters such as CropProphet use weather information including precipitation, temperatures, soil moisture, and related weather forecast information to forecast county, state, and national grain yields allowing grain traders, agribusiness, and hedge funds to manage risk while maximizing the opportunity of expected price changes.
Examples of Ag Weather from CropProphet
CropProphet quantifies the impact of weather on grains. We use historical weather and crop yield and production data to quantify the impact of weather has on crop yield and production. We attempt the present the information in contextually relevant ways.
For example, the image below is precipitation over the past 30 days for Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio as of June 23rd, 2020. However, the information is presented relative to normal precipitation amounts over the past 30 days. As can be seen, the prior 30 days has been quite dry at approximately 60 of normal.
CropProphet focuses on predicting national level supply for corn, soybean, and winter wheat. As a result, the application of ag weather is primarily applying weather conditions to a model that relates daily weather conditions to end-of-season USDA corn yield estimates.