Climate Corp. Updates Crop Insurance via High Tech

Climate Corp.’s PhDs crunch numbers to insure crops against erratic weather
Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek

Louis Wischmeier oversees 5,300 acres of farmland near Columbus, Ind., and spends much of the winter trying to find the perfect “prescriptions,” as he puts it, for his fields. A large, soft-spoken man, Wischmeier pores over weather data, takes soil moisture readings, and studies the latest news on seed hybrids with the aim of maximizing crop yields. Over the past few years that meticulous planning has been undermined by unusual weather. Heavy rains fell during the brief five-day planting windows, then scorching temperatures cracked seeds and suffocated crops. “Sometimes we have to replant two or three times to get a crop up and started,” Wischmeier says. He refuses to utter the words “global warming” or to complain, saying only that “the excessive weather events seem to have a huge impact on our success.”

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.