Controversial agri-giant Monsanto is dipping its massive hands in a different type of technology. The company, known for its focus on herbicides and genetically modified seeds, recently spent nearly $1 billion to buy Climate Corporation, a climate data research company. The move allows Monsanto to have control over tools that allow farmers to predict local weather so that they can make better farm management decisions.
Climate Corporation provides farmers with a variety of tools that allow them to predict extremely local weather events with a high rate of precision. When combined with Monsanto’s existing tools, the combination should give farmers some powerful technology to map, check soil conditions, assess risk for insurance coverage, and better track local forecasts.
Climate Corporation says that their tools are important to help “all the world’s people and businesses manage and adapt to climate change.” Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant has acknowledged climate change in the past and has confirmed that the company will focus on breeding seeds that accommodate the changing climate, so the acquisition dovetails nicely into Monsanto’s business model. The acquisition also happens to come at a clever time as Monsanto reported its weakest quarter.
According to the company, “The acquisition of The Climate Corporation represents Monsanto investment in supporting farmers by offering them novel options in the way they manage risk on farm – including weather, which is the single biggest risk farmers face on an annual basis.” Right now about 160 farmers across the US are testing the new system out.