Business planning

Tech start-up predicts weather

Michelle Hammond /

Weather predictionGoogle is among a group of investors pumping $42 million into a tech start-up that can calculate the chances of crops being ruined by weather.

 

According to a Google Ventures spokesperson, WeatherBill is going to have a “real world impact” on agriculture.

 

WeatherBill continuously aggregates weather data and runs large-scale simulations, letting farmers customise insurance policies to the amount of rain or season temperatures they need for fields to flourish.

 

Policies are paid out if the weather doesn’t measure up to specified standards. Meanwhile, it’s believed global agriculture production is valued at more than $US3 trillion annually.

 

WeatherBill co-founder David Friedberg says agriculture production is at risk from extreme weather conditions, citing the recent floods in Australia as a prime example.

 

He is touting WeatherBill as the first company to provide every farmer with a simple and effective solution for removing weather-related risk.

 

In light of the floods, fires, cyclones and earthquakes that have devastated huge areas of Australia and New Zealand – not to mention the Japan earthquake and tsunami – there is certainly a need to ramp up the protection measures available to farmers.

 

But why stop there? Surely this kind of technology could prove to be a valuable protection device for businesses as well.

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