There are many things that come to mind when considering how food is produced before it gets to your table, but Internet service probably isn’t one of them. Internet in rural areas is an essential tool that helps farmers use technology to produce more food, plan for the future, and ultimately provide the food you eat every day at lower prices.
Gathering and Understanding Data
Farmers can use data to be more efficient with food growth or production, including data on weather patterns, nutrients in the soil, and health patterns in livestock. Data of any kind is best recorded using technology that is connected to the Internet and that makes the data easy to search and use.
Communication with Peers and Potential Customers
Farmers also use communication tools such as farm bureau message boards, online auctions, and emails to create new business opportunities, buy and sell livestock, and confer with others in the same or similar fields. Rural satellite Internet service allows farmers who are beyond the reach of cable to use these tools. Up-to-date pricing information via high-speed Internet service is also crucial for farmers when setting costs for their products that are competitive.
Planning for the Future
Not only can the Internet and Internet-connected technology help farmers to capture data about weather and crop yields; it can also help farmers model out growing success and determine adjustments for the next season. There are Internet-connected tools, for example, that can take the data from each year of growth and use algorithms to model out future years. With this type of foresight, many growers can plan ahead for future soil nutrients, weather, and other factors.
Even More Advancements for the Future
Further advancements in rural high-speed Internet service could to lead to a complete digital revolution in farming. It seems clear that precision agriculture will be the next big thing—with technology that can track animals’ movements in the field, wearable technology for livestock that provides farmers with data about the health of their herds, Wi-Fi-connected watering systems, driverless tractors, and drones that can help provide imaging from above. However, these advancements seem a long way off, especially for smaller, independent farms.
For now, we can be confident that Internet in rural areas plays a crucial role in the farming process. Though many farmers live outside the reach of cable, Internet providers are helping to connect previously unreachable areas with Internet service. As farmers get connected and can use tools to make their work easier, they are literally reaping the benefits of technology and the Internet.