The agriculture business is used to utilizing satellite technology for GPS applications, but it is now expanding its use of satellite technology to include images and sensing, as well as telecom capabilities.
Al Savage, manager of John Deere’s Starfire Network, talked virtually as a portion of SATELLITE 2021 Digital Encore about how John Deere employs satellite technology and what it could achieve in the future. He claims that GPS technology has changed the way farmers operate, allowing them to work “smarter, not harder.” Other John Deere technology, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things, are built on top of satellite GPS (IoT).
“As we progress, I see us delving further into some of the other benefits that satellite technology can provide.” “Things like big data, telecom, vast data storage, and real-time accuracy would all come into play for us,” Savage added.
Because many farms are located in remote areas without high-speed broadband connectivity, John Deere and others in the agriculture industry are taking Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) communications seriously. According to Savage, LEO connectivity could aid in the movement of vast amounts of data as well as tracking and sharing data among farmers.
According to Tom Siddiqui, who serves as the head of Agriculture and Financial Services at Descartes Labs, satellite analytics is becoming more widely used across the agriculture value chain, from farms to midstream processors and dealers to consumer-packaged products companies that distribute to consumers.
Precision agriculture, which has developed ways to enhance the amount of data supplied to farmers in an attempt to boost yields and lower costs, has gained the most attention in recent years, according to Siddiqui. However, he believes that in order to accelerate the adoption of emerging technologies, satellite technology proponents should stop presenting how the technology works and instead focus on how it helps end-users.
“It’s not so much about electro-optical [vs] hyperspectral, but rather how we’re going to quantify soil organic carbon at scale and monitor the impact of extreme weather in real-time?” Siddiqui remarked. “That’s the level at which we should all begin conversing.” That is the primary area in which we as an industry can improve.”
Brad Doorn, NASA’s agriculture and water resources programme manager, discussed the problems NASA faces in better serving the agriculture business with satellite data, notably in the field of climate change. He sees developing the ability to service the end customer and cooperating with corporations like John Deere as a big challenge.