Monday October 20, 2014

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WeatherFarm aims to boost service under new ownership

Glacier Media, WIN Inc. buy network from CWB

Prairie farmers can expect to see an "enhanced selection" of online weather and agronomic tools from, following the recent transfer of the program to new owners.

The network has been purchased from the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) through a new partnership between Glacier Media and agricultural meteorology firm Weather INnovations Inc., in the form of a new company called Weather INnovations (WIN) Consulting LP. provides near-real-time local weather conditions for more than 800 locations from Manitoba to British Columbia. These detailed site-specific reports are meant to give growers immediate information needed to make on-the-fly decisions on operations such as seeding, spraying and harvesting.

The data collected from the network of wireless stations also drives an array of weather-based agronomic models, which can warn farmers in advance of the risk of crop diseases such as fusarium or sclerotinia, or insects such as wheat midge.

"Our goals in developing WIN Consulting LP and acquiring the service are to enhance the monitoring capabilities and complement it with our other services already offered in Western Canada," WIN president Ian Nichols said in a release.

WIN now operates several networks of weather and environmental monitoring stations across Canada, which provide data to growers, governments, academic researchers and crop insurance corporations.

The company also develops and maintains crop-specific weather advisory websites, including for grain growers in Ontario, for Manitoba potato farmers and sites for tomato, grape, tender fruit and sugarbeet growers in Eastern Canada and Europe.

Weather information from the network is already carried on Glacier Media's agricultural websites, including those of the Western Producer,
Canadian Cattlemen, Grainews, the Manitoba Co-operator,
Country Guide and Alberta Farmer Express.

"We know how important local weather information is to farmers, and this partnership ensures that we will be able to grow those services," said Bob Willcox, president of the Glacier Agriculture group in Winnipeg.

Related stories:
Weather station network to double in three years,
Nov. 16, 2011
New models ramp up WeatherFarm forecast accuracy,
Jan. 20, 2011
WeatherFarm offers maps charting crop development,
May 25, 2010
WeatherBug expands offerings for Prairie farmers, Dec. 2, 2009

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