Showing posts with the label federal crop insurance

FarmDocDaily Crop Insurance Tools Updated

Farmers around the nation are about to tap the birthplace of the internet browser for crop insurance data. Really! It’s a true statement. Todd Gleason has more from the University of Illinois.

Before Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, and Google’s Chrome, the first internet browser was called Mosaic. It was developed on the Univeristy of Illinois campus as part of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. NCSA is one of the places the internet was born. Today it is home to Blue Waters one of the most powerful supercomputers on the planet. And as of this month NCSA is home to the data farmers will use to help them make decisions about crop insurance via the FarmDoc website says NCSA’s Scott Wilkin.
Quote Summary - The way it will work is as an interactive website. It will actually be running on the web servers sitting at NCSA. We take the data, somebody says we want to make this happen; we want to understand the costs and benefits for an Enterprise Unit in Pike County, or Piatt County, or Champaign County. It runs the numbers automatically. It does the calculations right then. So, it is very sustainable.
So big deal you might says, “The FarmDOC (farm-doc) site has been home to the default crop insurance tools farmers in twelve corn and soybean producing states have used for a longtime.” This is true, but those have been hand-updated through an enormous Excel spreadsheet. The realtime calculations are the key and the reason agricultural economist Bruce Sherrick says the FarmDOC team moved the data to NCSA.
Quote Summary - From my perspective, they may not agree, but I think it has been a blast to see how folks who think about that as a normal environment attack a problem like this. By most of the scales they are used to working at we are probably a very small problem. By the scale we are used to working at, this was a really large numeric problem. So to be able to turn it over to somebody that thinks, not in terms of… a few billions is not a large number to somebody used to working in a National Center for Supercomputing applications environment.
NCSA is handling the front and back end of the new crop insurance calculators found on the FarmDOC pages. Those calculators must handle large stress loads during the Crop Insurance decision making time from March 1 to March 15. The volume of users coupled with the volume of calculations all done in realtime is mind boggling no more. NCSA will do the heavy lifting to help farmers quickly evaluate their federal crop insurance options.