One common theme in this blog is that the ways in which farmers optimize their crop yields are always evolving. Although agriculture may seem like an old-fashioned line of work to people outside of the industry, farms have come a long way since the first hunter-gatherer tribes slowly began making the switch to a more agrarian society thousands of years ago. This trend of growth and evolution continues to this day.
With this in mind, there are some very practical reasons why people should pay attention to the latest technologies and methods employed by the agricultural industry. For example, by identifying areas where farmers need additional resources or tools in order to facilitate the deployment of innovative farming methods, individuals and organizations could find themselves in a position to benefit professionally and financially. And of course, everyone benefits when farms are able to grow more food while having less of an impact on the environment.
As this blog has previously discussed, farmers looking to save time while also improving their crops are turning to new technologies like aerial drones, unmanned farm equipment, and remote monitoring stations to perform their work with greater ease and precision. They can fly drones great distances to survey their land and even distribute necessary agrochemicals, and they can scale back their operations by using unmanned equipment, like tractors. This strategy not only saves money, but it also lets farmers redirect their workers’ energies to other necessary tasks. Another useful innovation is the remote monitoring station, which farmers can place throughout their fields to constantly check the health of their crops and instantly obtain important information that could help farmers reduce their water use or better manage pests.
These recent tools represent only a few of the numerous new technologies available, and it’s very likely that the industry will implement even more innovations in the near future. However, these inventions all share a common trait: they use mobile technology to send data to farmers remotely. Unfortunately, this attribute is one of the reasons why these technologies have yet to become widespread.
These new technological tools won’t work without significant infrastructure in place to facilitate mobile communications. However, mobile carriers have primarily focused on erecting towers and installing antennas in high-population areas, like major cities and roadways, where the majority of their customers are located. This means that rural and underdeveloped areas remain without the mobile technology infrastructure necessary to take advantage of the many farming innovations.
Unfortunately, many farms are based in low-population areas. This is especially the case if the farm itself is particularly large. From the point of view of a mobile carrier, this chunk of land isn’t a sensible place to build a new antenna tower. There are no houses, no major highways, no businesses—just farmland, with a very low surrounding population density. There simply aren’t enough customers in the area to justify the investment.
However, with the wide variety of new technological tools hitting the agricultural market recently, farmers are set to become big consumers of mobile technology services. It would, therefore, greatly benefit mobile carriers to pay attention to the evolving needs and demands of the agricultural industry.
There are currently significant gaps in coverage near many farms. Therefore, farmers looking to implement a tool like aerial drones or remote monitoring stations won’t be able to shop around for the best mobile carrier. Instead, they’ll simply give their business to whichever company happens to bring reliable coverage and service to the area first. Thus, the carrier who puts in place the needed infrastructure early on will be the one to reap the greatest benefits of this new business opportunity.
Even when other mobile carriers follow suit, the company that got there first will still be in a position to profit. Typically, municipalities do not allow carriers to erect additional towers if there are already existing ones on which the companies can place their antennas. This means that carriers who are late to the market must pay rent to the carrier who owns the tower in order to put up their antennas. This will provide an additional stream of revenue to the carrier who first built the infrastructure around these farms.