At the Agri-TechE session “De-risking Agriculture Through Weather-Tech,” topics to be covered include new global land use mapping, jet stream led forecasting, and novel ag insurance to offset price volatility.
How can the danger brought on by the weather be managed? At an Agri-TechE session titled “Keeping a Sunny Outlook–De-risking Agriculture Through Weather-Tech,” experts will highlight how bespoke weather forecasts may optimize crop scheduling, an unique method for predicting extreme events, and an insurance policy to guard against price volatility. According to Weather Logistics’ CEO Chris Nankervis, the long-range forecast from December included a prediction for the recent severe rain: “Large deviations in the usual patterns of rainfall across the British Isles are mostly a result of our Atlantic jet stream airflow, a high-altitude ribbon of fast-moving air that drives our weather systems. This has led to a notable rise in the volatility of farming profits in recent years.
Weather patterns are impacted by jet stream
Weather Logistics can identify jet stream interruptions throughout the year and uses this information along with other information to produce customized weather forecasts. Farmers can make better decisions using this knowledge by postponing or advancing drilling or other farming operations to avoid unfavorable seasonal weather conditions. According to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), each of the last five years has been the warmest on record, and the decade 2010–2019 was the warmest since data have been kept. Chris says, “There are now worries that the jet stream’s stalling is causing changes in the Arctic and increasing the frequency of extreme weather occurrences. This would result in more frequent and severe extreme weather events, such as extended heatwaves, droughts, and catastrophic floods disasters.
“Rainfall is erratic in both location and time, unlike temperature. However, we are sure that we now have the greatest technologies in place to accurately notify growers about the likelihood of a soaker thanks to the input from numerous computer models and meteorological providers. ”
According to Chris, crop scheduling optimization for companies in the horticultural sector might boost profit margins by up to 20% while ensuring that supply schedules with food merchants are met. “Integrating long-term weather forecast data into decision-making platforms enables more effective land use and the opportunity to optimize the supply of fresh food, reduce the usage of pesticides, and increase smart water management,” he claims.
While weather forecasts are helpful, according to Joe Brooker, Senior Analyst at Stable Group Ltd, the biggest risks farmers must manage are pricing and yield. Risk related to price and yield are related. Weather affects production, which can affect yield, and yield can affect price, depending on the size, timing, and other variables. These elements can also happen on their own. Although weather can be unpredictable, it is not as unpredictable as prices. A kind of insurance created by Stable Group Ltd employs unbiased commodities indices to guard against price volatility. Farmers can set the price, and if the price declines, the insurance will kick in. The platform balances its risk portfolio across crop, location, time, and place by running 62 trillion simulations per week to estimate prices and identify impending pricing signals.
Reducing risk by foreseeing extreme circumstances
Cervest is pushing the boundaries of how AI can be used to handle complexity and slow down climate change. In order for governments, companies, and communities to better manage their current and future exposure to climate risk, Chief Business Officer Mark Hodgson said the company is building the capability to predict catastrophic occurrences anywhere on the earth. “Cervest is bringing to market an independent climate data platform that enables users to “score” risk exposure and make objective, well-informed decisions on the assets they manage—be they natural assets like crops and land, or build infrastructure assets, like buildings, roads, and utilities—after three years of VC-backed machine-learning research and development, global data acquisition and modelling, and market testing.” By compiling discrete signals from a variety of data sources, we will be able to provide location-level risk in 2020. This will allow the food, agriculture, insurance, and financial sectors to better manage their exposure to extreme precipitation and heat events as well as other natural hazards like flooding. Before expanding into the US, we will first focus on the UK and Europe.
“Anyone can receive a personalized prediction of climatic and extreme weather events in real-time on any piece of land,” Mark continues. Anyone who owns or has an interest in a specific land-based asset, whether they are an individual, farmer, company, or government agency, will soon have access to these individualized, dynamic projections to let them decide how to react with more knowledge. The platform also supports more effective group decision-making and robust value chains. Extreme weather and climatic catastrophes affect everyone equally. In an increasingly unstable environment, we need to ensure that everyone is as secure as possible.
“The dropping cost of processing power and the convergence of technologies like as imaging, remote sensing and monitoring, AI, and data modelling are enabling a large picture view that until now has been too complex to capture and grasp,” says Dr. Belinda Clarke, director of Agri-TechE. I’m excited to hear the conversation about how a systems approach to decision making may be beneficial in the context of the weather.