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Alliance Launches Weather Network for Western Canada

August 16, 2007

Working with public and private organizations, WeatherBug will deploy its Internet-based infrastructure to provide local weather information and alerts.


WINNIPEG, MANITOBA /Marketwire/ -- An extensive network of hundreds of weather-monitoring stations is about to spring up across western Canada. Farmers, grain companies, schools, businesses, and government agencies will work together across the prairies to build a weather network linked through the Internet, providing invaluable up-to-the-minute local weather information. The new weather network was launched by WeatherBug, the world's leading provider of local weather information, in partnership with the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) and Pioneer Grain, a subsidiary of James Richardson International (JRI).

The project was conceived and initiated by CWB's weather and crop surveillance department as a benefit to western Canadian farmers. Enabled by WeatherBug's proprietary networking technology and operational capabilities, the network in Canada will deliver accurate weather information for prairie farmers, professional users, and consumers.

"Access to weather information has major financial benefits for farmers, whether they're spraying valuable chemicals, predicting yields, or pinpointing a farm management problem," said CWB President and CEO Greg Arason. "This network will also improve information used by CWB analysts to market farmers' grain for maximum return."

Pioneer Grain will install weather stations at its ag business centers all across western Canada. "By sharing data from the weather stations, we will be better positioned to help producers with important crop management decisions," said JRI President Curt Vossen. "Once the network is installed, producers will be able to access accurate local weather information through our Web site. This initiative demonstrates our ongoing commitment to Canadian agriculture."

Within the next three years, WeatherBug will work with the CWB, Pioneer Grain, and other partners to connect more than 600 weather stations on farms, schools, and businesses across western Canada. Parkland Agri Services, another significant project partner, will set up 20 stations at its Alberta locations.

The network is expected to grow to include more than 1000 weather stations all across all Canada, delivering timely, highly detailed, accurate weather information and severe weather alerts to millions of people.

WeatherBug President and CEO Bob Marshall said this launch is the first step in building a national network so that farmers, schools, emergency managers, media outlets, and other businesses can benefit from access to WeatherBug's networking technology, which has been proven to yield breakthrough benefits for business operations and help safeguard property and lives.

"We have the technology to revolutionize the way weather information is gathered and shared in Canada," Marshall said. "Through ongoing strategic partnerships, we can add the power of WeatherBug to publicly available weather data and enhance delivery of weather information to Canadians at home, work, and on the go."

Arason said the weather expertise and prairie-wide scope of the CWB has enabled the organization to play a leading role. Vossen said JRI's expanded presence across the west allows it to play a valuable role in building the new network to serve farmers.

About the Companies
 

  • Controlled by western Canadian farmers, the CWB is the largest wheat and barley marketer in the world. One of Canada's biggest exporters, the Winnipeg-based organization sells grain to more than 70 countries and returns all revenue, less marketing costs, to farmers.

     

  • JRI, a subsidiary of James Richardson & Sons Limited, is the largest privately owned Canadian agribusiness. It handles all major grains, oilseeds, and special crops and sells crop inputs and related services through Pioneer Grain ag business centers throughout Canada.

     

  • WeatherBug ensures that individuals, schools, businesses, and government agencies receive the most precise weather information, the most relevant weather reports, and the earliest weather warnings to safeguard property and lives and to plan with confidence. With a worldwide network of weather sensors, tracking stations, and cameras, primarily based at neighborhood schools and public safety facilities, WeatherBug maintains the largest exclusive weather network in the world, including its professional service.

 


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