The Canadian Wheat Board

The Canadian Wheat Board
WeatherBug

WeatherBug
Pioneer Grain

Pioneer Grain
James Richardson International Limited

August 15, 2007 14:30 ET

Innovative New Weather Network Sprouts From Prairie Soil

WeatherBug launches first major national network in Canada

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Aug. 15, 2007) - 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 today 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 the 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," CWB President and CEO Greg Arason said. "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 at www.pioneergrain.com. 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 1,000 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, such as that announced today, 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 this 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. www.cwb.ca.

- 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 centres throughout Canada. www.pioneergrain.com.

- 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, WeatherBug Tracking Stations and cameras primarily based at neighborhood schools and public safety facilities, WeatherBug maintains the largest exclusive weather network in the world. http://weatherbug.com and http://www.weatherbugprofessional.com.

Contact Information

  • CWB
    Maureen Fitzhenry
    Media relations manager
    (204) 983-3101
    Cell: (204) 227-6927
    or
    WeatherBug
    Mara Radis
    Director of Public Relations
    (301) 250-4017
    Cell: (301) 512-5134
    or
    JRI
    Paul Brisebois
    Asst. VP Marketing
    (204) 934-5597
    Cell: (204) 794-6057