Monsanto has bought the Climate Corporation for about $930 million in an effort to help farmers use big data to produce more crops while using fewer natural resources, the agribusiness company says.
The Climate Corporation’s technology platform uses hyper-local weather monitoring, agronomic data modeling and high-resolution weather simulations to help farmers predict crop yields.
Data science is “agriculture’s next major growth frontier” and represents a potential opportunity of $20 billion beyond Monsanto’s core focus, the company says.
Monsanto and the Climate Corporation estimate the majority of farmers have an untapped yield opportunity of up to 30 bushels to 50 bushels in their corn fields, and they say that advancements in data science can help farmers achieve that additional value for the farm.
The Climate Corporation will continue to offer its current risk-management products including an online service that provides crop planning, monitoring and recommendations, and crop insurance through its network of independent agents, the companies say.
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of Monsanto’s 2014 fiscal year.
The two companies’ combined capabilities will immediately expand both the near- and long-term growth opportunities of Monsanto’s Integrated Farming Systems platform and research and development pipeline in the coming years, Monsanto says.
Longer-term, the acquisition will broaden the product choices available to farmers beyond Monsanto’s current row crop and vegetable portfolio, both inside and outside of the US, Monsanto says. This includes the delivery decision-support tools that could increase agriculture productivity on a billion planted acres around the globe, according to the company.
In August, General Mills, Kraft Foods and Monsanto were among the first companies to join a project that aims to develop a comprehensive database for food and beverage life cycle assessments.
Photo Credit: Monsanto