The Climate Corporation Introduces Total Weather Insurance™ 2012 With Next-Generation Weather Monitoring and Location-Specific Yield Assessment

Over 800,000 Rainfall Measurement Grids Nationwide and Industry-Leading Soil Moisture Tracking Dramatically Enhance Top-End Coverage for 2012 Corn and Soybean Growing Season

 

SAN FRANCISCO – In 2011, corn and soybean growers shared a common hurdle—extreme weather. From flooded fields to extended dry periods and from cold spring temperatures to heat stress, all varieties of extreme weather left their mark on yields and, ultimately, grower profits. The Climate Corporation (formerly WeatherBill) today announced Total Weather Insurance (TWI) Corn 2012™ and TWI Soybean 2012™ which provide unprecedented profit protection for growers against increasingly extreme weather.
 
“TWI 2012 for corn and soybeans is an enormous leap forward in innovation, taking the precision of the weather insurance we offer from „seasonal and regional‟ to „daily and local,” says David Friedberg, founder and CEO of The Climate Corporation. “The advances we have made with our 2012 program now allow us to track on a daily basis the highly local conditions that are impacting yields at the farm level and pay growers accordingly.”
 
TWI 2012 Program Enhancements
 
Total Weather Insurance (TWI) is The Climate Corporation's flagship full-season weather insurance program, providing farmers with the ability to lock in profits by protecting against weather events that cause production shortfalls, before federal crop insurance kicks in. TWI is powered by Farm-Level Optimizer™, which dynamically determines the weather conditions that can make or break an individual grower‟s yields based on crop, location and soil type, and then automatically optimizes full-season weather protection for that grower‟s farm.
 
The Climate Corporation has continued to invest deeply in research and development focused on the interaction between meteorological events and production agriculture. This investment has resulted in a whole new level of protection available to growers. TWI 2012 delivers more precise profit protection with enhancements in two key areas:
 
 More localized, farm-specific data:
o 25x more granular rainfall grids: TWI 2012 tracks precipitation nationwide using Precision Rainfall Grids™ powered by radar-based National Weather Service data. These interactive 2.5 x 2.5 mile grids allow a grower to select a precise location for TWI coverage, providing far more exact rainfall measurement
for the grower‟s location than is available with traditional land-based weather stations.
o Soil type for policy customization: TWI 2012 policies incorporate grower-specified, farm-level soil type information. Knowledge of the water-holding capacity of the soil at the farm level allows TWI coverage to more accurately identify and pay for periods of drought or flood stress that lead to yield loss.
o Trend-adjusted yield coverage: To support the RMA‟s Trend-Adjusted APH Yield Option, TWI 2012 now automatically scales coverage for those producers who consistently outpace county production averages, custom-tailoring protection to better map to grower production levels.
 
 More accurate assessment of field conditions:
o Soil Moisture Tracker™: New for TWI 2012, Soil Moisture Tracker provides daily assessment of excess rain and drought conditions throughout the growing season. For each Precision Rainfall Grid, Soil Moisture Tracker estimates the amount of water entering the soil each day through rainfall and the amount of water leaving the soil each day through plant water use and evaporation. Soil Moisture Tracker utilizes an ultra-high resolution agronomic database that describes soil type and soil depth for every 30 x 30 foot land grid across the continental United States.
o Heat stress: TWI 2012 takes a significantly more sophisticated approach to monitoring heat stress risk for corn crops, tracking nighttime heat stress in addition to daytime heat stress. When temperatures remain high during the night hours, increased plant respiration diminishes kernel growth as photosynthetic sugars are allocated to plant maintenance instead of kernel formation. The incorporation of coverage for nighttime heat stress is in direct response to ongoing university research that has increasingly identified nighttime heat stress as a major driver of corn yield shortfalls.
o Planting delay window: TWI 2012 now allows growers to specify the number of days needed for field work and planting for a particular crop in a particular location. TWI 2012 then pays growers for excessive spring rains that do not allow these days to be realized during the ideal planting period, further refining coverage to ensure growers are protected from economic loss.
 
The enhancements to TWI 2012 for corn and soybeans are enabled by The Climate Corporation‟s unique technology platform that ingests weather measurements from 2.5 million locations and forecasts from major climate models on a daily basis, and processes that data along with 150 billion soil observations to generate 10 trillion weather simulation data points used in the company‟s weather insurance pricing and risk analysis systems. The Climate Corporation manages over 50 terabytes of live data in its systems at any given time, five times more information than is contained in the entire printed collection of the U.S. Library of Congress.
 
2012 Coverage for Key Corn and Soybean Weather Perils
 
Utilizing advanced agronomy, historical yield and loss data, and weather history and forecasts,
TWI 2012 for corn and soybeans covers the major weather perils growers may face during the growing season.
 
TWI Corn 2012 covers six key weather perils, including:
• Daytime Heat Stress protects against hot days that can reduce crop growth and result in reduced pollination.
• Nighttime Heat Stress protects against warm nights that may result in diminished kernel growth due to increased plant respiration.
• Planting Rain protects against excessive precipitation that can delay timely planting and other field work.
• Low Heat Units/Freeze protects against a cool growing season or early freeze events that can prevent corn from reaching full maturity.
• Drought with Soil Moisture Tracker™ protects against depleted soil moisture that can cause wilting, pollination issues and decreased yields.
• Excess Rain with Soil Moisture Tracker™ protects against excessive local rainfall that can lead to standing water which starves the crop of oxygen and promotes disease.
TWI Soybean 2012 covers five key weather perils, including:
• Heat Stress protects against hot days that can limit plant growth, pod count and seed size.
• Planting Rain protects against excessive precipitation that can delay timely planting and other field work.
• Early Freeze protects against early fall freeze events that may damage plants before full yield potential is realized.
• Drought with Soil Moisture Tracker™ protects against depleted soil moisture that can limit reproductive success and yields.
• Flood with Soil Moisture Tracker™ protects against excessive local rainfall that can lead to standing water which starves the crop of oxygen and disease.
 
Grower Success with TWI 2011
 
TWI 2012 builds on the success of TWI 2011, which delivered protection from extreme weather for thousands of growers across key corn and soybean states. 2011 was the second warmest summer on record for the U.S. as a whole, and 2011 brought the wettest spring on record in corn and soybean production regions of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and the driest summer on record in the wheat growing states of Texas and New Mexico.
 
During the 2011 growing season, the Early Season Rain component of client policies triggered payouts in 52% of counties where coverage was purchased, while drought and heat payouts were seen by 48% of all policyholders nationwide. Especially in areas with record-setting temperatures and little rainfall, these payouts helped growers guarantee their livelihoods.
 
For one grower TWI 2011 meant a new era of peace of mind. Rodney Creech of West Alexandria, Ohio, is a fourth generation corn and soybean farmer who turned to TWI 2011 to protect his corn and soybean crops.
 
“Weather affects me more than anything; it affects everything we do as famers,” says Rodney. “I‟ve been farming on my own for eight or nine years, and in that time, I‟ve only had two really good crops, with the rest being average or even below average. And it‟s not the farming practices causing the yield loss, it‟s the weather.”
 
Rodney described TWI as “a perfect fit because we‟re going to have weather issues—not every year, but it‟s going to happen. From a risk reduction standpoint, TWI is another way to protect myself. I‟m very happy and satisfied with Total Weather Insurance. It‟s a kick in the face when you can‟t work, but it‟s nice to get a check.”
 
To find an authorized TWI agent in your area or to hear directly from growers about their experience with TWI, go to www.climate.com. Full-season weather coverage for 2012 corn and soybean crops is available to growers who sign up by March 15, 2012.
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