Monsanto Company and Climate Corporation, a division, this week joined a roundtable of experts at the White House to share ideas and research approaches to help the world’s farmers manage and adapt to the impact of climate change on the global food supply.
The roundtable discussion, which focused on the White House Climate Data Initiative, provided a forum for researchers and leaders from the public and private sectors to share updates on the use of data insights and analysis to better understand climate issues and develop new solutions to address them.
“Data-driven insights can guide continued technology innovation across the agricultural community to provide growers with a greater ability to mitigate the impact of more volatile weather,” said Martha Schlicher, global stakeholder engagement lead for Monsanto. “This helps growers continue to meet, now and in the future, demands for a balanced diet while simultaneously working to minimize the impact of food production on the environment.
“No one company or organization can address a challenge of this magnitude, and that is why Monsanto actively supports the White House Climate Data Initiative,” Schlicher said. “We’ve contributed valuable data and expertise to multiple collaborations to advance climate change research and we’re pleased to come together with others who share our commitment to sustainable food production.”
During the meeting, company representatives shared updates on several collaborative efforts that have advanced the use of models—data-driven analyses of how plants respond to weather extremes, water availability and changing weather scenarios—working with the broader research community focused in this area. Examples of these collaborations include:
- University of Chicago research compared the impact of the 2012 drought relative to the last significant drought in 1988 and the impact of improved technology for farmers. That research showed that if farmers in the 2012 drought had been limited to the same agronomic choices they had in 1988, production would have been reduced by 25 percent. Monsanto has recently supported the extension of this work to understand the impact that changes in water availability could have on North American crop production.
- Monsanto has provided corn yield data to public modeling efforts to help improve the modeling predictability for how corn will respond to changes in climate and water availability.
- Monsanto is partnering company scientists with a number of external scientists to help improve one of the newest publicly available corn-growth simulation models.
- The Climate Corporation, a division of Monsanto, provides Climate Basic, a free online and mobile service that helps farmers identify the impact of recent and current weather conditions on their fields. The Climate Corporation also helped launch the Open Ag Data Alliance (OADA), an open-source software project to ensure farmers have full data access across different agriculture technology platforms.
Monsanto pledged its continuing support to respond to the White House Climate Data Initiative and to continued broad collaboration globally across the public and private sectors to advance research dedicated to supporting farmers and their efforts to maintain the food supply in the face of a changing climate.
“Through his Climate Data Initiative, President Obama is calling for all hands on deck to unleash data and technology in ways that will make businesses and communities more resilient to climate change,” said John Holdren, President Obama’s science advisor. “The commitments being announced today answer that call by empowering the U.S. and global agricultural sectors with the tools and information needed to keep food systems strong and secure in a changing climate.”
More detail on Monsanto’s climate change data research can be found on the company’s blog at www.monsantoblog.com.