Weather Protection

January 7, 2012 11:15 AM

Insurance policy closes a gap left by crop insurance

You can’t control the weather that rolls over your farm, but the Climate Corporation offers new policies that help protect your operation from the wrath weather can wreak on profits. Available for corn and soybeans, with other crops coming soon, Total Weather Insurance (TWI) fills the gap between federal crop insurance coverage and target yields, on a field-by-field basis.

"The goal of TWI is to keep revenue per acre consistent and predictable," explains Jeff Hamlin, director of agronomic research at the company. "The insurance makes it possible to lock in profits on production shortfalls before federal crop insurance kicks in."

TWI coverage is offered in 22 states for the 2012 season, basically everywhere corn and soybeans are grown. The perils covered include planting rain, drought, heat stress, excess rain and early fall freeze.

Policies are tailored to a specific field based on soil type, yield history, crop insurance coverage, target yield and crop base price. High-tech monitoring tools and sophisticated modeling track the field’s weather.

Based on the weather that hits the field, policy payout checks are automatically cut 10 days after the weather event, without the producer filing a claim or producing documentation. Two additional silver linings of the payment: It is made regardless of the field’s final yields and before the premium is paid.

Policy premiums are paid at the end of the growing season and range from $20 to $40 per acre for corn and soybeans. The best rates are locked in during the off-season. Premium prices are updated every six hours to match current weather data and modeling.

"Growers can lock in a price per acre for as many acres as they think they may need," Hamlin says. "They have until March 15 to nail down the number of acres—and they aren’t obligated to anything other than their final commitment."

This provides flexibility to match coverage to crop mixes and the crop insurance offering selected.

How it works. The company uses government operated and other third-party operated weather stations for official temperature and precipitation data reports during the growing season. More than 800,000 rainfall measurement grids collect data every six minutes. Beyond that, TWI also references a national soil-type database that lists soil specifics for every 30'×30' square of land in the country.

Altogether, TWI generates 10 trillion weather simulation data points, making it Amazon Elastic Map-Reduce’s No. 1 client for cloud computing. That data drives everything from the risk report a farmer can create on the company’s website to policy payouts.

To generate your own risk report or learn more, visit

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