Smart Farming: Deere & Starlink in the spotlight!

Last Updated: 18. Januar 2024By

What do satellites and tractors have in common? More than you think! John Deere and Starlink from SpaceX have teamed up to connect agriculture and lead it into the digital age. Learn how this unexpected alliance is redefining agriculture and what it means for farmers around the world.

Investing in the Future of Agriculture John Deere from Illinois has already invested billions in innovative technologies – from advanced weed detection software to self-driving tractors. However, these investments are just the beginning as the company is now partnering with Starlink from SpaceX to drive digital agriculture worldwide. The use of the Starlink satellite fleet allows for seamless connectivity of John Deere farm equipment in areas that previously had no reliable internet access. Thanks to internet and GPS, Deere tractors and combines can move autonomously and adjust the application rate of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides based on soil conditions.

Global Impact and Technology The Starlink technology not only provides a solution for rural areas in the US, but also for regions around the world, such as Brazil, where more than 70% of agricultural land is underserved. The launch of the Starlink service in Brazil and parts of the US is planned for this year, with more countries in sight. The SpaceX antennas, attached to the driver’s cabins, are also designed to withstand harsh conditions.

For Deere, this agreement is a step towards higher revenue through service fees. The exact costs for farmers, including antennas and software, have not yet been determined. Deere is working on charging software fees based on farmers‘ usage without the need for new equipment. The partnership also benefits Starlink as it maximizes the potential of satellites in remote areas and expands the customer base beyond densely populated areas.

The decision to partner with Starlink is based on SpaceX’s impressive ability to transmit fast signals from a low-earth orbit, coupled with a large satellite fleet.

Goal: Growing Software Service Fees The collaboration reflects Deere’s clear goal of making existing technologies accessible to a wider customer base. With approximately 30% of agricultural land in the US not adequately served by wireless internet, this step is not only visionary but also urgently needed.

By the end of the decade, John Deere aims to generate 10% of its revenue from software service fees. This partnership could be groundbreaking not only for John Deere but for the entire industry. It remains to be seen how this development will affect the company’s stock and the agricultural sector as a whole. In any case, it underscores the growing importance of technology and digitalization for the future of agriculture.

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