John Deere & Co., the world’s largest tractor manufacturer, announced a strategic partnership with SpaceX on January 16, 2024, to provide high-speed satellite internet to farmers in the United States and Brazil. Utilizing SpaceX’s Starlink network, this solution will enable farmers facing rural connectivity challenges to fully leverage precision agriculture technologies.

For those unfamiliar with the term “precision agriculture technologies”, these are technologies of advanced tools and practices that farmers use to optimize crop yields and reduce waste. These technologies include GPS guidance systems, variable rate application of fertilizers and pesticides, remote sensing, and yield mapping. By using these tools, farmers can apply resources more precisely and efficiently, leading to higher crop yields, reduced costs, and a smaller environmental footprint. In short, precision agriculture technologies help farmers to do more with less, making their operations more sustainable and profitable.




In a press release, John Deere stated that this collaboration will allow “John Deere customers to be more productive, profitable, and sustainable in their operations as they continue to provide food, fuel, and fiber for their communities and a growing global population.”

Aaron Wetzel, Vice President of Production and Precision Ag Production Systems at John Deere, emphasized the importance of connectivity for farmers, stating, “The value of connectivity to farmers is broader than any single task or action. Connectivity unlocks vast opportunities that were previously limited or unavailable.”

Despite the potential benefits of high-speed internet access for rural America, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), under the Biden administration, rejected SpaceX’s request for $885.5 million in rural broadband subsidies. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr wrote in an X post that the decision was perplexing and disappointing, as Starlink is “likely the best option” to achieve the goals of the rural internet program.

As Elon Musk’s SpaceX gears up for a potential initial public offering (IPO) later this year, this partnership with John Deere may be the first of many to come. Musk’s status as an “uncancellable” billionaire has led to speculation that the Biden administration’s actions against SpaceX may be politically motivated.

For more information, please refer to the John Deere press release.



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