We use consumer-packaged goods morning, noon and night. Whether it’s squeezing toothpaste in the AM, washing down lunch with a diet cola, or scrubbing in a facial cleaner before bed, the “CPG” ecosystem of bottled, canned, and bagged products are ingrained in our daily lives without much thought. But what do we know about our plastically-captive companions? How many of them depend on our global supply of crops?

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Through our work at TellusLabs, we’ve learned a great deal as we’ve been interacting more and more with the producers of consumer goods. …

How a machine learning and data science start up is filling in the gaps, everywhere..

Part of what makes TellusLabs’ analytics so valuable is the fact that we craft them from an unusually long record of satellite imagery. The dataset we work with comes from satellites that have been orbiting the planet for nearly two decades! This means that we can analyse more harvests, more weather cycles, more extreme events. It also means we have to work both hard and smart to keep the dataset clean and consistent: We need more tools to visualize the temporal information.

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At TellusLabs, our…

If you built a machine that predicted the future, how would you test whether it worked? Ideally, you’d be able to get in your time machine and see whether your predictions were right. Sadly, our team, while brilliant, includes no Marty McFlys or Doc Browns. At TellusLabs, when we evaluate the strength of our predictive yield models, we rely on less dramatic (though still exciting) techniques.

We look to backtesting.

Our data science team uses more than 15 years of historical data to build our models. To assess their performance, they then exclude certain years to see how the models…

To boldly go where remote sensing has never gone before

For a long time, the best way to map crops was to actually walk (or drive) through fields, tagging areas as corn or soy (for example). This may work on a local basis, but relying on “ground truthing” for the world’s more than 300 million hectares would be impractical (Spock would even say… illogical).

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Here at TellusLabs, we may not be fighting Klingons, but we are using satellites and machine learning to forecast food supply in parts of the world where it’s never been done before!

In order to make these forecasts, we need to know where crops are, which…

What’s the Sphynx’ favorite food? Apparently, it’s wheat from Russia! Egypt’s purchases of Russian foods such as wheat and sunflower oil jumped 44 percent to $1.74 billion last year, according to Bloomberg.

Russian wheat is attracting a lot of attention these days! In fact, Russia is now the world’s largest exporter of wheat. While the U.S. produced 63 million metric tons of wheat in 2017, Russia grew 72.5 MMT. That was a 20% increase in Russia’s production from the previous year! Think about all of those baguettes (or pitas…)!

The global appetite for Russian wheat has partly been driven by…

At TellusLabs, we combine decades of satellite imagery with machine learning to answer critical, time sensitive economic and environmental questions.

TellusLabs’ crop forecast models have gotten a lot of attention over the past few years, but they’re only a part of our mission to build a living map of the world’s food supply.

As proud part-citizens of Digitopolis, we think that people can’t fully understand things until they can measure them. That’s why we’re producing clean, consistent metrics that score the plant health of crops all around the world.

Last week, TellusLabs started processing daily global imagery so that it…

Annmarie Rizzo

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