Ag Forecast on Weather.Com

Randall Weiseman Alabama, Florida, General, Georgia, Weather

Jeff MorrowThe Weather Channel Interactive, in partnership with agricultural products leader Monsanto Company, announced a new section on® dedicated to weather and farming at Within the Agriculture News & Forecast, the main feature is the Farmers Forecast, which includes up-to-date weather information that matters most to the agricultural community, such as severe weather alerts affecting crops and detailed data about precipitation, wind and soil moisture.

The new Farmers Forecast adds farming-related alerts in addition to the severe weather alerts already available through the site. These will alert consumers to warnings with freeze, frost, high wind or hail indicators for each forecasted day. With precipitation being critical for the farming community, not only does the page include the percent of precipitation, but it also includes an actual projection of the amount of rain that is expected.

“U.S. farmers and the crops they produce are at the mercy of a number of natural factors, and weather can be the difference between a great crop or a disappointing harvest,” says Ernesto Fajardo, the lead of Monsanto’s U.S. business. “As a company, we are dependent on the success of these growers and we invest heavily in research to develop products that will improve a grower’s ability to succeed despite challenges from weather or pests. This partnership enables us to also assist in providing growers information that can assist them with their crop management decisions.”

The site will offer several components to help farmers make decisions before and throughout the season. From the same page, users can easily change locations to keep up with multiple farms or compare sites. Among the information included on the new section:

· Soil moisture information

· Detailed wind data

· Sunrise and sunset times

· UV index

“Partnering with Monsanto, the leading provider of agricultural technology and products, has enabled us to create a practical and useful weather tool for the agricultural community that also addresses the needs of an advertiser,” said Paul Iaffaldano, executive vice president and general manager of The Weather Channel Media Solutions. “The result of this joint effort is a one-stop resource for farmers that can empower them with the vital information they need every day.”

In addition to 36-hour and 10-day forecasts, the new section also includes an almanac that allows users to compare the forecast with typical and historical weather conditions. Farmers can reference past weather conditions and plan for their crops accordingly using information such as daily and monthly averages, as well as actual reported conditions from the day, week and month to date.

Beyond the in-depth Farmers Forecast, the Agriculture News & Forecast also includes more than 30 helpful maps for anyone with agriculture interests. Regional and national maps give a detailed visual display of drought severity, soil moisture, precipitation forecasts, rainfall estimates, optimal planting schedules and first and last freeze norms.

An interactive map also allows consumers to customize points of interest and specific weather layers such as radar, clouds, dew point, wind speed, temperature and past precipitation.

The section is also a one-stop resource for the latest agriculture news. Users can stay up to date with articles related to the industry while checking out the next day’s forecast. Users can easily bookmark any page within the new section, such as the Farmers Forecast, to return to this practical resource and connect it to social networking sites such as Facebook, Digg and others.

Along with the new section within the site, Monsanto will also run an online campaign throughout 2009 featuring many of its brands such as Deltapine, DEKALB, Asgrow, Yieldgard, Roundup Ready and Roundup PowerMax.

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