Broadband is becoming a “must-have” in the precision agriculture industry, according to a new report from NTCA (The Rural Broadband Association.) Precision agriculture includes GPS soil/yield mapping, guidance systems, and variable rate technology (VRT). These tools can help a farmer determine where to lay fertilizer, enhance irrigation to help reduce waste, and navigate equipment, and access to rural broadband is crucial to take advantage of the technology.
According to the study, farm size is a prevailing factor that determines adoption of precision agriculture, with GPS soil/yield mapping and guidance systems having an 80% adoption rate by the largest farms. As the tech becomes more common, costs may decrease allowing smaller farms to increase adoption. The FCC recently established a precision agriculture task force and plans to award $1 million in a future 5G Fund for Rural America.