A Madison-based weather analytics company called Understory is partnering with Monsanto to help guide decisions on harvesting and irrigation.

Alex Kubicek, CEO and co-founder of Understory, says the business is providing a “weather network as a service,” with sensor arrays installed across North and South America, delivering localized insights based on weather data readings.

“At one of our deployments in Argentina, where you couldn’t load a webpage on your cell phone, we were able to pull out all the information in real time,” Kubicek said yesterday. He spoke as part of Madison’s Forward Fest, which highlights startups and other tech companies at events that run until Thursday of this week.

As part of a discussion on the use of data in agriculture, Kubicek explained how Understory evolved out of research at UW-Madison. He started the company back in 2012, after diving into atmospheric science at the university.

At the time, he was working to create new algorithms to capture how weather could impact public safety, with a goal of getting better warning systems for thunderstorms and tornadoes.

“Building these algorithms was really exciting because we were on the edge of current research,” he said. “The problem with that is there actually wasn’t any measurements that existed that could validate the models… They were too complex.” Read the full story here.