Difference Makers: 5G and Precision Agriculture

What are some general applications of 5G that will be useful in agriculture?

5G is generally defined as the fifth-generation digital cellular network technology that provides improved broadband access and mobile internet connectivity. It offers faster speeds to transmit more data with more reliable connections on smartphones and other connected devices and equipment. 5G will be vital to the future of precision agriculture technology because it will allow enabled machines to communicate with each other faster than ever before.

5G will give producers access to greater connectivity and open a world of possibilities. Users can implement a broad suite of technologies capable of working in tandem, including GPS, mobile apps, automated driving, sensors and data transmission. It allows faster two-way communication and more accurate field operations and shares data more quickly and efficiently.

Is 5G availability critical to future farm profitability?

Precision agriculture and the ability to manage a farm from anywhere, at any time will be of great value to producers. However, improvements in rural broadband need to be made to make full use of these technologies. This connectivity is imperative for decision making, efficiency and productivity, today and in the future, which all factor into farm profitability.

Communication of information – people-to-machine, machine-to-people and machine-to-machine – will become even more important as farms evolve and more technology is used. Tremendous amounts of data and information need to be analyzed to make informed decisions that directly impact the bottom line. Availability of 5G will help producers make faster and better decisions while improving machine performance for greater productivity, efficiencies and yields.

How will 5G help U.S. farmers compete better on the world stage?

As 5G coverage expands, it will bring reliable, high bandwidth speeds to more producers who farm in areas that typically lack coverage. This will allow for more real-time data capture and decision making, driving better, more precise results to make farmers more competitive.

How is John Deere making use of 5G?

Many new applications need to communicate with machines constantly to be most useful. John Deere machines equipped with JDLink Connect telematics and a 5G connection can connect to the John Deere Operations Center, collecting data in real-time and helping customers make quick, on-the-go adjustments to machines for optimal performance under unique conditions.

Another example is remote service capabilities where dealers can remotely check the health of customers’ machines and monitor for alerts. If an alert comes up, the service technician is notified instantly and can remotely analyze the root cause and – in many cases – even solve the issue remotely, without the producer even knowing about the issue in the first place.

What future agtech tools will help U.S. farmers produce the food needed to feed the world?

Fast, reliable 5G connectivity is imperative in helping producers and service providers run their businesses while helping feed a growing world population. Deere’s customers now expect that no matter where they are – whether it’s in the field or in the office – they can be connected to the land, know what’s happening at all times and feel confident in their machines’ capabilities. As we continue to provide more on-machine intelligence, fast and reliable connectivity becomes more critical to meet the significant challenges producers face every day.

Matt Olson is John Deere Agriculture & Turf Division’s product marketing manager for precision ag. His marketing manager team focuses on marketing technology solutions to help producers improve machine and job performance and agronomic decisions.