Land O’Lakes say farming is going digital – but need broadband

Venture Beat reports on a presentation that CTO Land O’Lakes Teddy Bekele gave at a conference this week…

“The life of the farmer is very complicated,” Bekele said in his conference presentation. The modern farmer operates in a business ecosystem that includes equipment manufacturers, chemical companies, food distributors, banks and insurance companies, employees, and government regulations.

The success of a farming business, he said, revolves around 40 “mega decisions” about what and when to plant, when and how to fertilize, feed, and harvest, and how to market and sell. These are all problems data and technology can help solve, Bekele said.

The costs of technology and technology upgrades can be an issue, but so is broadband…

One fundamental challenge is that even where solutions exist and farmers are eager to take advantage of them, the lack of broadband connectivity in rural areas gets in the way of tapping into the cloud. Bandwidth is often mediocre in the farmhouse and poor-to-nonexistent at the farm or out in the field, Bekele said. One promising solution Land O’Lakes has been pursuing in cooperation with internet providers is working with the cooperative’s network of agricultural retailers in farming communities to erect more towers for cellular bandwidth.

This entry was posted in economic development, MN and tagged by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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