Stories from the world of agricultural data

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In 1991, Somalia descended into a civil war that would leave the country without a government for roughly two decades. Previously one of the largest exporters of bananas on the continent, Somalia has since turned into a net importer of the fruit. Cameroon is now the continent’s largest exporter of bananas. Trailing or equal to Somali exports until the 1990s, Cameroon was producing an average 263,016 tonnes of banana exports in the first decade of the new millennium while Somalia averaged none.

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Morocco’s Wheat Is in Need of Rain

Vegetative indices are flashing warning signs in Morocco, as the country’s wheat crop comes into the home stretch. With over 80% of agricultural production rainfed, below average precipitation during the past two months hasn’t helped matters. The most problematic areas are situated across five provinces that account for roughly 30% of Morocco’s total wheat production and a good portion of its durum wheat production. We recommend millers, grain handlers, and logistics groups keep a watch on daily rainfall and 8-day NDVI conditions in Gro.

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We don’t believe in bluffing or keeping things close to the vest. That’s why Gro is proud to announce the open release of our yield forecast model with performance that we believe equals or exceeds anything previously available at any price. We want to get rid of the black box mentality that’s kept such models proprietary to a few firms and secret from the many who need to use them. We are making our suite of machine learning and process models freely available on our website because we believe a transparent, fluid exchange of data and knowledge is the best way to answer the most pressing food and agricultural challenges facing us.


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Note: Gro shows that Romania's winter wheat yielded 3.94 t/ha in 2016. 

Sales of fungicides—a rough proxy for application—grew in Romania by nearly 14% between 2011 and 2015. Research suggests that European wheat yields are responding positively to new fungicide chemistries. Romanian wheat is no exception, with winter wheat yield reaching a 10-year high in 2016. Still, the country’s average yield was roughly 25% below that of neighboring Hungary. Crop protection chemicals alone can only drive agricultural intensification so far. As such, the country will likely require further investment in machinery, irrigation, and other advancements to achieve its full potential.

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“Too much rainfall!” “Not enough moisture!” “Erratic precipitation!” Farmers rarely express satisfaction with the weather. The 2016/17 marketing season has been no different. While too much precipitation raises flooding concerns in Argentina, erratic rainfall in E. Africa risks damage to crop production potential in the region.

The same wide variance seen on a global scale appears within US borders. California is facing a deluge, parts of Florida and Georgia are facing a rainfall deficit, and farmers in the Midwest are looking at potential planting delays as a result of steady precipitation. Gro lets users easily track US planting progress. With two reports already released for this season, let’s see how we can use the data to evaluate crops’ current status.

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S. Korean Trade Pact Gives Wings to US Pork Exports:

US pork exports to South Korea were roughly 29% higher year-over-year through February. More importantly, Gro shows that March US weekly export sales to Korea are still trending well ahead of year ago levels. The fear of a protein shortage after recent livestock disease outbreaks have spurred greater pork imports by South Korea. Related lower import tariffs on US pork is a pivotal reason for US exporters expanding their presence. As US naval ships steam toward the peninsula, we recommend that logistics companies and US livestock producers keep a close watch on weekly US export sales in Gro.

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Southern African farmers were still recovering from a devastating drought when reports of fall armyworm infestations arrived in December 2016. Zambia was the first country to be hit, followed by Zimbabwe and Malawi before the moths spread to South Africa in February 2017. Armyworms were also found in Namibia, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo, and have now arrived in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia. A variety of factors have helped control the pests in Southern Africa, but based on our analysis of weather data and environmental signals through Gro, it’s unclear if farmers in East Africa will be as lucky.

Armyworms are caterpillars that attack staple cereal crops, such as corn, wheat, sorghum, and rice. The more typical African armyworms invade visibly from the outside of the target plants. Fall armyworms, which are native to South and Central America, are difficult to detect because they attack from inside. They therefore have the potential to cause heavy damage. Despite the development of some resistance in the US, farmers can use pesticides or plant genetically modified (GM) Bt corn to alleviate the potential destruction. Cold weather and rain can also help prevent the spread of fall armyworms. They typically thrive in tropical temperatures similar to their native habitats and water weighs down their wings, making it more difficult for them to fly.

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Footnote: UK and France have the 2nd and 3rd largest fishing fleets by gross tonnage

EU’s aquatic catches plummeted by 16% since 2002—the year of Common Fisheries Policy reforms. Spain, which saw its annual catch rise by nearly 13% over the same period, has been sailing against the current. The country’s seafarers have even resorted to international piracy and quota hopping in UK waters, driven by depleted domestic stocks, misguided subsidies, and high domestic consumption. Reforms have largely failed to curtail Spain’s conquests. Yet, Brexit could take the wind out of Spain’s sails, as Britain may look to exercise greater control over its territorial waters.

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Planting Progress Slows in the Midwest:

Corn growers in the South are sprinting ahead, particularly in Louisiana and Texas. On the other hand, farmers in the Midwest and Plains are progressing more slowly, due to consistent rainfall across the regions. Given that most US corn planting usually starts in early-to-mid April, there is limited risk to production potential at this point. The current forecast of above-average temperatures should also help corn emergence. Still, we recommend watching US planting progress in Gro, as NOAA’s 3-month outlook could always change in April’s forecast.

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Footnote: 2014 is the latest year available for domestic molasses production data from FAO.

Protected sugar producers like Jamaica are scrambling for new markets before the EU’s sugar production quotas expire on Sept. 30, 2017. EU sugar imports from Jamaica are expected to wither after protections are removed. The government has proposed sugar-based ethanol as an alternative, but production has been slow to take off. On the other hand, domestic molasses production soared by roughly 45% between 2009 and 2014. Jamaica’s sugar cane and molasses production could also benefit from the untapped market potential of premium rums.

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Winter Wheat Needs April Showers:

Badly needed rainfall finally came to the US Plains and more is on the way. Nevertheless, winter wheat in many areas is progressing to the jointing stage under dry soil conditions. As an example, the percent of Kansas winter wheat rated as in good-to-excellent condition was 38% last week versus 56% at the same time in 2016. The condition of the country’s overall winter wheat crop will be revealed later today when the USDA issues its first Crop Progress report. We will be watching weekly progress in the Plains and also how US winter wheat is tracking against the five-year average at this stage of development.

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Argentina is going all in with biodiesel. Domestic biodiesel production rose year-over-year by nearly 50% to reach a record high 2.7 mln metric tons in 2016. The country’s exporters are sailing back into troubled waters, despite the EU removing anti-dumping measures last year. In 2016, Argentina exported more biodiesel to the US than in the prior two years combined. In response, the US National Biodiesel Board filed an anti-dumping petition last Thursday.

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Gro Intelligence Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy describes the policies and procedures of Gro Intelligence, Inc. (“we”, “our” or “us”) on the collection, use and disclosure of your information on (the “Site”) and the services, features, content or applications we offer (collectively with the Site, the “Services”). We receive information about you from your use of the Services generally. When you use the Services, you are consenting to the collection, transfer, manipulation, storage, disclosure and other uses of your information as described in this Privacy Policy.

What Does This Privacy Policy Cover?

This Privacy Policy covers the treatment of personally identifiable information (“Personal Information”) gathered when you are using or accessing the Services. This Privacy Policy also covers our treatment of any Personal Information that our business partners share with us or that we share with our business partners.

This Privacy Policy does not apply to the practices of third parties that we do not own or control, including but not limited to any third party websites, services and applications (“Third Party Services”) that you elect to access through the Service or to individuals that we do not manage or employ. While we attempt to facilitate access only to those Third Party Services that share our respect for your privacy, we cannot take responsibility for the content or privacy policies of those Third Party Services. We encourage you to carefully review the privacy policies of any Third Party Services you access.

What Information Do We Collect?

The information we gather enables us to personalize, improve and continue to operate the Services. We collect the following types of information from our users.

IP Address Information and Other Information Collected Automatically:

· We automatically receive and record information from your web browser when you interact with the Services, including your IP address and cookie information. This information is used for fighting spam/malware and also to facilitate collection of data concerning your interaction with the Services (e.g., what links you have clicked on).

· Generally, the Services automatically collect usage information, such as the number and frequency of visitors to the Site. We may use this data in aggregate form, that is, as a statistical measure, but not in a manner that would identify you personally. This type of aggregate data enables us and third parties authorized by us to figure out how often individuals use parts of the Services so that we can analyze and improve them.

Information Collected Using Cookies:

· Cookies are pieces of text that may be provided to your computer through your web browser when you access a website. Your browser stores cookies in a manner associated with each website you visit. We use cookies to enable our servers to recognize your web browser and tell us how and when you visit the Site and otherwise use the Services through the Internet.

· Our cookies do not, by themselves, contain Personal Information, and we do not combine the general information collected through cookies with other Personal Information to tell us who you are. As noted, however, we do use cookies to identify that your web browser has accessed aspects of the Services.

· Most browsers have an option for turning off the cookie feature, which will prevent your browser from accepting new cookies, as well as (depending on the sophistication of your browser software) allowing you to decide on acceptance of each new cookie in a variety of ways.

· This Privacy Policy covers our use of cookies only and does not cover the use of cookies by third parties. We do not control when or how third parties place cookies on your computer. For example, third party websites to which a link points may set cookies on your computer.

Aggregate Information:

We collect statistical information about how users collectively use the Services (“Aggregate Information”). Some of this information may be derived from Personal Information. This statistical information is not Personal Information and cannot be tied back to you or your web browser.

How, and With Whom, Is My Information Shared?

IP Address Information:

While we collect and store IP address information, that information is not made public. We do at times, however, share this information with our partners, service providers and other persons with whom we conduct business, and as otherwise specified in this Privacy Policy.

Information You Elect to Share:

You may access other Third Party Services through the Services, for example by clicking on links to those Third Party Services from within the Site. We are not responsible for the privacy policies and/or practices of these Third Party Services, and you are responsible for reading and understanding those Third Party Services’ privacy policies. This Privacy Policy only governs information collected on the Services.

Aggregate Information:

We share Aggregate Information with our partners, service providers and other persons with whom we conduct business. We share this type of statistical data so that our partners can understand how and how often people use our Services and their services or websites, which facilitates improving both their services and how our Services interface with them. In addition, these third parties may share with us non-private, aggregated or otherwise non Personal Information about you that they have independently developed or acquired.

Information Shared with Our Agents:

We employ and contract with people and other entities that perform certain tasks on our behalf and who are under our control (our “Agents”). We may need to share Personal Information with our Agents in order to provide products or services to you. Unless we tell you differently, our Agents do not have any right to use Personal Information or other information we share with them beyond what is necessary to assist us. You hereby consent to our sharing of Personal Information with our Agents.

Information Disclosed Pursuant to Business Transfers:

In some cases, we may choose to buy or sell assets. In these types of transactions, user information is typically one of the transferred business assets. Moreover, if we, or substantially all of our assets, were acquired, or if we go out of business or enter bankruptcy, user information would be one of the assets that is transferred or acquired by a third party. You acknowledge that such transfers may occur, and that any acquirer of us or our assets may continue to use your Personal Information as set forth in this policy.

Information Disclosed for Our Protection and the Protection of Others:

We also reserve the right to access, read, preserve, and disclose any information as we reasonably believe is necessary to (i) satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request, (ii) enforce this Privacy Policy and our Terms of Service, including investigation of potential violations hereof, (iii) detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues, (iv) respond to user support requests, or (v) protect our rights, property or safety, our users and the public. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organizations for fraud protection and spam/malware prevention.

Information We Share With Your Consent:

Except as set forth above, you will be notified when your Personal Information may be shared with third parties, and will be able to prevent the sharing of this information.

Is Information About Me Secure?

We store all of our information, including your IP address information, using industry-standard techniques. We do not guarantee or warrant that such techniques will prevent unauthorized access to information about you that we store, Personal Information or otherwise.

What Information of Mine Can I Access?

You can access and delete cookies through your web browser settings.

California Privacy Rights: Under California Civil Code sections 1798.83-1798.84, California residents are entitled to ask us for a notice identifying the categories of personal customer information which we share with our affiliates and/or third parties for marketing purposes, and providing contact information for such affiliates and/or third parties. If you are a California resident and would like a copy of this notice, please submit a written request to the following address: 1460 Broadway, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10036.

What Happens When There Are Changes to this Privacy Policy?

We may amend this Privacy Policy from time to time. Use of information we collect now is subject to the Privacy Policy in effect at the time such information is used. If we make changes in the way we collect or use information, we will notify you by posting an announcement on the Services or sending you an email. A user is bound by any changes to the Privacy Policy when he or she uses the Services after such changes have been first posted.

What If I Have Questions or Concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns regarding privacy using the Services, please send us a detailed message to We will make every effort to resolve your concerns.

Effective Date: March 11, 2014


Gro Intelligence Terms of Service

Please read these Terms of Service (collectively with Gro Intelligence’s Privacy Policy, the “Terms of Service”) fully and carefully before using (the “Site”) and the services, features, content or applications offered by Gro Intelligence, Inc. (“we”, “us” or “our”) (together with the Site, the “Services”). These Terms of Service set forth the legally binding terms and conditions for your use of the Site and the Services.

1. Acceptance of Terms of Service.

a. By using the Services in any manner, including but not limited to visiting or browsing the Site, you agree to these Terms of Service and all other operating rules, policies and procedures that may be published from time to time on the Site by us, each of which is incorporated by reference and each of which may be updated from time to time without notice to you.

2. Content.

a. Definition. For purposes of these Terms of Service, the term “Content” includes, without limitation, information, data, text, photographs, videos, audio clips, written posts and comments, software, scripts, graphics, and interactive features generated, provided, or otherwise made available on or through the Services.

b. Notices and Restrictions. The Services may contain Content specifically provided by us or our partners and such Content is protected by copyrights, trademarks, service marks, patents, trade secrets or other proprietary rights and laws. You shall abide by and maintain all copyright notices, information, and restrictions contained in any Content accessed through the Services. Unless otherwise indicated, these Terms of Service and all Content provided by us are copyright © 2014 Gro Intelligence, Inc. All rights reserved.

c. Use License. Subject to these Terms of Service, we grant each user of the Services a worldwide, non-exclusive, non-sublicensable and non-transferable license to use (i.e., to download and display locally) Content solely for purposes of using the Services. Use, reproduction, modification, distribution or storage of any Content for other than purposes of using the Services is expressly prohibited without prior written permission from us. You shall not sell, license, rent, or otherwise use or exploit any Content for commercial use or in any way that violates any third party right.

d. Availability of Content. We do not guarantee that any Content will be made available on the Site or through the Services. We reserve the right to, but do not have any obligation to, (i) remove, edit or modify any Content in our sole discretion, at any time, without notice to you and for any reason (including, but not limited to, upon receipt of claims or allegations from third parties or authorities relating to such Content or if we are concerned that you may have violated these Terms of Service), or for no reason at all and (ii) to remove or block any Content from the Services.

3. Rules of Conduct.

a. As a condition of use, you represent, warrant and covenant not to use the Services for any purpose that is prohibited by these Terms of Service or applicable laws, rules and regulations applicable to you. You are responsible for all of your activity in connection with the Services.

b. You shall not (directly or indirectly):

i. take any action that imposes or may impose (as determined by us in our sole discretion) an unreasonable or disproportionately large load on our (or our third party providers’) infrastructure;

ii. interfere or attempt to interfere with the proper working of the Services or any activities conducted on the Services;

iii. bypass, circumvent or attempt to bypass or circumvent any measures we may use to prevent or restrict access to the Services (or other accounts, computer systems or networks connected to the Services);

iv. use manual or automated software, devices, or other processes to “crawl” or “spider” any page of the Site;

v. harvest or scrape any Content from the Services;

vi. otherwise take any action in violation of our guidelines and policies;

vii. decipher, decompile, disassemble, reverse engineer or otherwise attempt to derive any source code or underlying ideas or algorithms of any part of the Services (including without limitation any application), except to the limited extent applicable laws specifically prohibit such restriction;

viii. modify, translate, or otherwise create derivative works of any part of the Services; or

ix. copy, rent, lease, distribute, or otherwise transfer any of the rights that you receive hereunder.

c. We also reserve the right to access, read, preserve, and disclose any information as we reasonably believe is necessary to:

i. satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request;

ii. enforce these Terms of Service, including investigation of potential violations hereof;

iii. detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues;

iv. respond to user support requests; or

v. protect the rights, property or safety of us, our users and the public.

4. Third Party Services. The Services may permit you to link to other websites, services or resources on the Internet, and other websites, services or resources may contain links to the Services. When you access third party resources on the Internet, you do so at your own risk. These other resources are not under our control, and you acknowledge that we are not responsible or liable for the content, functions, accuracy, legality, appropriateness or any other aspect of such websites or resources. The inclusion of any such link does not imply our endorsement or any association between us and their operators. You further acknowledge and agree that we shall not be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any such content, goods or services available on or through any such website or resource.

5. Termination. We may terminate your access to all or any part of the Services at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately. All provisions of these Terms of Service which by their nature should survive termination shall survive termination, including, without limitation, ownership provisions, warranty disclaimers, indemnity and limitations of liability.

6. Warranty Disclaimer.

a. You release us from all liability for you having acquired or not acquired Content through the Services. We make no representations concerning any Content contained in or accessed through the Services, and we will not be responsible or liable for the accuracy, copyright compliance, or legality of material or Content contained in or accessed through the Services.



8. Governing Law and Jurisdiction. These Terms of Service shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York, including its conflicts of law rules, and the United States of America. You agree that any dispute arising from or relating to the subject matter of these Terms of Service shall be governed by the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the state and Federal courts of New York County, New York.

9. Miscellaneous.

a. Modification. We reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to modify or replace any of these Terms of Service, or change, suspend, or discontinue the Services at any time. Your continued use of the Services following notification of any changes to these Terms of Service constitutes acceptance of those changes.

b. Entire Agreement and Severability. These Terms of Service are the entire agreement between you and us with respect to the Services, including use of the Site, and supersede all prior or contemporaneous communications and proposals (whether oral, written or electronic) between you and us with respect to the Services. If any provision of these Terms of Service is found to be unenforceable or invalid, that provision will be limited or eliminated to the minimum extent necessary so that these Terms of Service will otherwise remain in full force and effect and enforceable. The failure of either party to exercise in any respect any right provided for herein shall not be deemed a waiver of any further rights hereunder

c. Force Majeure. We shall not be liable for any failure to perform our obligations hereunder where such failure results from any cause beyond our reasonable control, including, without limitation, mechanical, electronic or communications failure or degradation.

d. Assignment. These Terms of Service are personal to you, and are not assignable, transferable or sublicensable by you except with our prior written consent. We may assign, transfer or delegate any of our rights and obligations hereunder without consent.

e. Agency. No agency, partnership, joint venture, or employment relationship is created as a result of these Terms of Service and neither party has any authority of any kind to bind the other in any respect.

f. Notices. Unless otherwise specified in these Term of Service, all notices under these Terms of Service will be in writing and will be deemed to have been duly given when received, if personally delivered or sent by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested; when receipt is electronically confirmed, if transmitted by facsimile or e-mail; or the day after it is sent, if sent for next day delivery by recognized overnight delivery service. Electronic notices should be sent to

g. No Waiver. Our failure to enforce any part of these Terms of Service shall not constitute a waiver of our right to later enforce that or any other part of these Terms of Service. Waiver of compliance in any particular instance does not mean that we will waive compliance in the future. In order for any waiver of compliance with these Terms of Service to be binding, we must provide you with written notice of such waiver through one of our authorized representatives.

h. Headings. The section and paragraph headings in these Terms of Service are for convenience only and shall not affect their interpretation.

Contact. You may contact us at the following address: 1460 Broadway, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10036.