The team at agtech company Gro Intelligence is launching a full dashboard dedicated to COVID 19 and its effect on global agriculture.
“The potential impact can’t be understated,” says Will Osnato senior research analyst with Gro Intelligence. “We are aiming to provide direct insights on the impact the outbreak is having.”
Boiled down, here are the 5 datasets these data pros are aggregating and monitoring:
1. Chinese economy
For example, COVID 19 already disrupted the normal soybean crushing patterns in China where a two-week drop in crush is normal after the Spring Festival, but this year that dip slowed below 1 million tons for three weeks.
Gro is launching a Chinese Ag Index in the coming months.
2. Export volumes
The Gro team has already observed declined shipments from the U.S. to southeast Asia (Japan and South Korea). And they note while normal shipping times are 30 to 40 days, there could be logistical delays in the recovery.
3. African Swine Fever
The African swine fever outbreak disrupted grain demand patterns with a switch from pork to chicken demand in China, and more developments are still emerging with the virus’ spread. “It’s far from clear we’ve seen the largest disruptions,” says John Haines, Senior Research analyst at Gro Intelligence.
4. Seasonal yield models
Gro tracks biomass and other production data to create yield models for major production areas. In-season it will provide daily updates.
Currently, its model suggest Argentina and Brazil will produce record corn and soybean crops.
“With further supply shocks on the horizon, this will complicate the impact of COVID 19,” Haines says. He mentions with the upcoming U.S. planting season, the team at Gro is closely monitoring soil moisture levels in the Corn Belt, which could delay or prevent planting.
5. Pest models
Two insects on two continents are garnering a lot of attention in regard to global supply and demand and how it interlaces with COVID 19. Locusts in the horn of Africa are being described as “devastating.” The populations are increasing, and Gro is monitoring the biomass levels as well as other data to track the spread.
Additionally, farm armyworm in China is bringing additional risk to corn production.