San Francisco, Aus companies join forces for new AI farming tool

ClimateAI, Pacific Seeds and Goanna Ag launch Skip

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AUS-US PARTNERSHIP: The three companies behind Skip say the platform can assist with on-farm decision making. Photo: Supplied.

AUS-US PARTNERSHIP: The three companies behind Skip say the platform can assist with on-farm decision making. Photo: Supplied.

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A San Francisco climate and data science startup has linked up with a Toowoomba seed company and a Goondiwindi ag tech business.

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A San Francisco climate science startup has joined forces with a Toowoomba seed company and a Goondiwindi ag tech business to launch an on-farm decision making tool for Australian growers.

ClimateAI, Pacific Seeds and Goanna Ag have designed a platform called Skip, which combines climate analytics with a regional weather network to help growers identify and manage on-farm climate risks.

Pacific Seeds marketing manager Andrew Short said the platform would allow growers to look at farm specific short term and season ahead weather forecasts, and in an industry first, could also add customised crop alerts to assist with their on-farm decisions.

"Growers will be able to drop a pin on their location to produce farm specific forecasts, triggered alerts and decision-making tool outputs," Mr Short said.

"Multiple locations for different fields or farms can also be marked delivering tailored data for each location."

Mr Short said the platform could also assist seasonal decision making by giving growers and agronomists the ability to run simulations of various planting times, checking for potential seasonal impacts before putting seed in the ground, and helping to tweak crop management before it was too late in the season.

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ClimateAI sources its analytics data from a wide range of public and private platforms and combines this with agronomics and machine learning to deliver what it believes is a superior forecasting model.

ClimateAI head of product and growth Anthony Atlas said the platform linked a weather and climate forecast to actionable insights for growers.

"It starts with a best-in-class forecast, using artificial intelligence to improve accuracy and extend the range of the forecast across days, weeks, and months," Mr Atlas said.

"We then layer on an easy-to-use interface that helps you navigate challenging weather events, like a heatwave during flowering.

"ClimateAI takes a machine-learning approach to forecasting - a breakthrough new way to predict weather, compared to conventional models."

Mr Atlas said using selected Goanna Ag weather stations across Australia to feed information into ClimateAI's models would add even greater field-based data to the model and continue to improve the reliability and accuracy of predictions.

"This will allow growers to not only use their Goanna Ag weather station as a means of looking at current and past observations, but also to generate a forecast specific to their station."

Goanna Ag CEO Alicia Garden said they were excited to be supporting the establishment of a new weather and climate forecast network.

"We've always held a strong belief that site-specific weather observations were needed to drive high accuracy short and longer-term weather forecasts," Ms Garden said.

"Our weather stations capture important parameters such as solar radiation that can greatly improve crop forecast models and it's fantastic to see this data feeding tangible on-farm decision making tools for producers."

Skip is set to be released in spring 2021.

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