,,"Gaining real-time, more accurate information about local crop conditions is vital to U.S. agribusiness," said Bill Towles, Bunge's manager of farmer focus programs.
said the free program is based on encouraging farmers from around the country - through self-interest and prize incentives - to sign up at www.farmetrics.com and input their crop acreage, yield and harvest predictions as the growing season unfolds.
,,Now in its second year, Towles
said so far "several thousand (farmers) have signed up across the country," which is giving Farmetrics increasing accuracy in its predictive capability.
,,"There is no magic number," he
said."Obviously, the more you have the more accurate it is."
acknowledges that the prediction data is valuable to Bunge
in its worldwide marketing and sales ventures."We get the information and it's part of our total portfolio to gain some insight into the market," he
said."We combine it with other analytics we get every day of the week."
is close-lipped about exactly how Bunge
is using the Farmetrics information but said the still-evolving program is so far proving to be useful."We have been real pleased with the data we've gotten so far," he
said."We're satisfied with the results."
,,Of course, there's no shortage of crop information from a variety of sources that growers can turn to for guidance.But Towles
insists that Farmetrics' online-gathered data is always practically up-to-the-minute and "not the result of some dated survey."
said Farmetrics wasn't meant to be the last word in what crop a farmer should plant.
said that's a question that will likely take more participants and a bit longer to sort out.
,,"As the price of corn goes up, farmers plant more corn and it becomes self-fulfilling at some point," Towles