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August 17, 2018

Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act of 2018: Call for Increased Broadband Connectivity

Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act of 2018 may improve rural broadband access.

If you live in a metropolitan area, broadband connectivity probably isn’t a concern – but for those in rural communities, this high-speed technology is still often out of reach. As a result, many rural residents, including farmers, are requesting greater access to broadband internet.

Importance of Rural Broadband Access

Although rural internet access isn’t unheard of, thanks to traditional dial-up connectivity, broadband is different; it’s faster, cheaper, and more reliable than dial-up, which is increasingly important for farmers as the demand and need for precision agriculture continue to grow.

Precision agriculture tools make farming management far easier, more efficient and cost-effective, and can help growers increase yields and profitability while using fewer resources.

For example, many farmers who have embraced precision ag have a GPS-connected controller in their tractor, which automatically steers the equipment based on the coordinates of a field and results in less wasted seed, fertilizer, fuel, and time. In addition, growers are beginning to make use of variable rate technology that allows them to control the amounts of inputs they apply in a specific location. Farmers and ranchers are also utilizing drones and satellites outfitted with remote sensing technology to collect data that improves their decision-making.

In order for farmers to access these life-changing tools, they need high-speed internet – and if the Agricultural Broadband Coalition has anything to do with it, broadband connectivity will soon be readily available across rural America.

Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act of 2018

Introduced on January 25, 2018, the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act of 2018 is a bipartisan, bicameral effort that would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish a task force to identify gaps in high-speed internet connectivity for U.S. cropland and ranchland.

If the act is passed, Farm Futures reports that the task force will bring together public and private stakeholders to evaluate current programs impacting broadband internet access in rural farming communities, identify and measure existing gaps in coverage, and develop policy recommendations to address the gaps. The task force will also develop specific steps the FCC, U.S. Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies can take to improve and/or eliminate gaps in broadband connectivity.

Called a milestone piece of legislation by the Agricultural Broadband Coalition, the Precision Connectivity Act of 2018 is part of the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (also known as 2018 Farm Bill), which is slated to be completed before the existing bill expires on September 30, 2018.

At AgAmerica, we know that technology helps support our nation’s farmers and ranchers, helping the ag industry to grow and raise more with greater precision. You can also get more with our custom loan packages. Contact one of our expert team members today to learn how our spectrum of financing options can support your ag operation.

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