A Step in the Smart Direction: Increasing Connectivity for Rural America

What does increasing connectivity for rural America mean for the farming industry, and what solutions are available now? New technologies in 2019 and 2020 will provide even greater connections from the field to the office. Broadband adoption affords product availability in areas that haven’t enjoyed emerging IoT tech. With the new farm bill and companies building solutions, we will be better equipped than ever to meet the needs for food and fiber.

January 7, 2019 by Fuse

A Step in the Smart Direction: Increasing Connectivity for Rural America

What does increasing connectivity for rural America mean for the farming industry, and what solutions are available now? New technologies in 2019 and 2020 will provide even greater connections from the field to the office. Broadband adoption affords product availability in areas that haven’t enjoyed emerging IoT tech. With the new farm bill and companies building solutions, we will be better equipped than ever to meet the needs for food and fiber.

Recently in December, the 2018 Farm Bill was passed by both the US House and Senate.  Wide ranging provisions in the bill encompass subjects from energy and commodities to children’s nutritional food programs.  Embedded in the bill are several actions which will increase USDA loans and grants targeted for rural broadband connectivity to $350 million by 2023.  Another action included raising the minimum level of acceptable broadband service to 25 Mbps from the current level of 4 Mbps.  In addition to the 2018 Farm Bill, the USDA has announced a new initiative providing $600 million to build the infrastructure required for broadband.  Additionally, these provisions will bring about changes in the agriculture industry by opening up data connectivity channels.  Yet as of this writing, 39% of rural areas do not have access to high-speed broadband.

Closing the Infrastructure-Technology Gap

With Verizon’s commitment to deliver 5G cellular to rural areas along with Microsoft’s push for high-speed broadband, rural America will be opened up in the early 2020’s to speeds that allow for smart farming technologies to thrive.  There are many new technologies launching in 2019 that are based around data connectivity and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.  Several products currently exist in the marketplace which provide connectivity from the tractor to the cloud.  However, cloud based technology offerings have been limited to areas that have infrastructure that support broadband.

With the implementation of increased broadband availability, cloud based smart farming technologies such as Climate FieldViewTM, AGCO Agro Link and AGCO Task Doc will see increased adoption.  These tools provide gateway connections for agronomic and machine data to transition the field to the cloud with minimal operator assistance.  Cloud based platforms provide storage and controlling solutions that facilitate better field data management.  These tools allow data to flow to and from the field or office from anywhere in the world with a broadband connection.  In addition to agronomic data management, other cloud based technologies link farm managers to irrigation, weather stations, soil conditions, and various crop condition imagery services.

Leveraging Improved Connectivity to Enhance Services

In regard to machine telematics, broadband adoption allows better connectivity between the dealer and machine.  Our telemetry offering, AgCommand facilitates remote diagnostics to deliver greater machine uptime and diagnostics before a technician is sent to the tractor.  Remote Terminal Mirroring (a feature within AgCommand) provides real-time operator coaching from virtually anywhere in the world.  This feature uses a live internet connection to deliver the terminal view that the operator sees in the cab.  During planting and spraying operations, this feature is useful to new operators that maybe unsure of certain settings on the combine, tractor, or applicator.

New technologies in 2019 and 2020 will provide even greater connections from the field to the office.  Broadband adoption affords product availability in areas that haven’t enjoyed emerging IoT tech.  With the new farm bill and companies building solutions, we will be better equipped than ever to meet the needs for food and fiber.

To learn more about Fuse, please visit FuseSmartFarming.com.

Written by: Jonathan Riley

Jonathan is a Fuse Product Marketing Manager focusing on Data Connectivity. Jonathan holds a Master’s Degree in Data Analytics from the University of Maryland. Connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn.

Leave a comment.

  • No comments yet. Use the form to start a conversation!

Stay Connected. Follow AGCO