The Associated Press LEAWOOD - Farmers may not be able to change increasingly wild weather swings, but a data-crunching company with an office in eastern Kansas says it can help them predict and adapt to them. Climate Corp., which recently was purchased by St. Louis-based agricultural giant Monsanto for $1 billion, uses massive amounts of data to develop hyper-local weather forecasts to insure crops and advise farmers, The Kansas City Star ( reported. Started six years ago by a pair of Google Inc. veterans, Climate Corp. - which has an office in the Kansas City suburb of Leawood - produces forecasts from weather readings at 10 million locations that are matched with 40 years of national crop-yield statistics. Its forecasts include rain, soil conditions and wind speed. "We're moving into a period of very unstable weather, and that's what producers need to be prepared for," said Jerry Hatfield, lab director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment. The topic of climate change has plenty of skeptics, including many in an industry as tradition-bound as farming. Some farmers not only question the concept of global warming, they're also leery of new forecasting methods. Ted Guetterman, who farms about 100,000 acres in southern Johnson County and northern Miami County with his dad and three brothers, said he is willing to look at high-tech farming methods, but he insists he's the best judge of what needs to be done. "Nobody knows my land better than I do," Guetterman said. "I've been farming it all my life." Guetterman, 45, said he would take some advice from a consultant, but "I'm not going to do my whole farm that way." Monsanto sees a $20 billion market for using massive amounts of data to pair field-specific weather forecasting with advice tailed to individual plots of land, calling it agriculture's "next major growth frontier." "Farmers still face a tough battle out there every year. Hopefully this helps them," said Jim Ethington, vice president of product for Climate Corp. "It's by no means a silver bullet." In a report this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture warned of increasing fluctuation in weather patterns and the effect on crops. The report cautioned that changing environmental conditions pose "unprecedented challenges" in the long run. The USDA estimates wheat production across the Great Plains will drop 6 percent by 2050, and corn yields will fall 4 percent because of extreme weather conditions caused by warming temperatures. Agricultural economists and climatologists see a shift in where major crops are being grown. A recent study indicated the center of the wheat production belt in the United States has migrated 173 miles northwest in the last 50 years. A similar trend has been seen for corn, which has moved 100 miles in roughly the same direction. Few in Kansas and Missouri believe climate change is going to push wheat or corn out of either state, but they acknowledge it could make growing more risky. "The variability from year to year is going be greater than it has been in the past," said Charles Rice, professor of soil microbiology at Kansas State University. "The producer is going to have to have money in the bank to pay for those poor years."