For fresh produce businesses, increasing weather variability is a growing area of uncertainty - presenting risks to crop productivity and quality, impacting established planting and harvesting schedules but also providing new opportunities for those able to harness accurate data to drive decision-making.
WeatherAsset is a new cloud-based global weather platform which can provide weather-related insights to any agri-business which has exposure to weather-related risks, either directly in their operations or through their wider supply chain.
“WeatherAsset works for any crop, in any growing location in the world, providing access to 20 year historical climatologies, daily updates to weather variables, tailoring of weather variables into customised indicators of growing conditions and an automated alerting capability when conditions likely to impact a business are observed or forecast”, explains Andrew Groom, Business Development Manager at the Institute for Environmental Analytics.
The platform provides access to these insights through an intuitive online interface or an API, to allow for automated machine-to-machine integration.
“For WeatherAsset we have compiled comprehensive data from the best global weather archives. We have instant access to decades of historical data for any location, this is complemented with weather information derived from satellite observations and calibrated with data from global and local networks of weather stations.”
“Key differentiators from typical weather services are the 20 years of historical weather data and the tailoring of weather variables to customised growing condition indicators. The historical data enables comparison of the current growing season to prior ones as the basis for season retrospectives whilst the thresholds for the custom growing condition indicators are defined by our customers, ensuring the weather insights are focused specifically on those factors that are relevant.”
“Each day we analyse the prior 7 days and the next 7 days as the basis for an automated alerting service. For example, if you wanted to harvest strawberries, temperatures above a certain threshold over a certain period of time increase the risk of dry bruising when the fruit is picked, so we can build a bespoke heat alert for high temperatures. The system is routinely monitoring the conditions and sends an automatic alert when the defined thresholds have been reached or are forecast to be reached.”
The service also benefits from a novel approach to longer term forecasting. Andrew further comments that “we have found typical seasonal forecasts to be unreliable, providing minimal additional value over a climatology. We use our historical data to provide a novel, history-matched 6-week seasonal outlook, using trends from similar prior seasons to provide a more insightful longer term outlook for the current season.”
Although clearly highly relevant for crop-specific productivity and quality insights, WeatherAsset can also provide intelligence of relevance to the wider supply chain. If a product arrives with poorer quality than expected, WeatherAsset can also be used to rule out the weather as the underlying cause. For example, poor quality combined with unremarkable weather have led customers to discover unreported issues with storage facilities.
The service is simple to engage. Just identify the growing locations of interest and tell us what impacts your crops. We’ll tailor the service, and after a quick setup you’ll receive enhanced weather-related insight via an intuitive online application or our API.
For more information:
Institute for Environmental Analytics
Tel: +44 (0)7850 918964