Deere Connects to Starlink

Jan. 17, 2024
SpaceX satellite communication networks connects ill-served areas.
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Deere agricultural customers will have access to the SpaceX satellite communications system (SATCOM) under an agreement covering the Starlink network. The agreement will allow farmers with rural connectivity challenges to fully leverage precision agriculture technologies.

In the short term, this deal does not affect the construction division, according to a Deere spokesperson. The company plans to take key learnings from this deal that may impact the construction industry at a later time.

Read also: Blue River Exec Dives into AI and Machine Learning for Deere

“The value of connectivity to farmers is broader than any single task or action,” said Aaron Wetzel, VP of production and precision ag production systems at Deere. “Connectivity unlocks vast opportunities that were previously limited or unavailable. For example, throughout the year, farmers must complete tasks within extremely short windows of time. This requires executing incredibly precise production steps while coordinating between machines and managing machine performance. Each of these areas are enhanced through connectivity, making the entire operation more efficient, effective, and profitable.”

The SATCOM solution will connect both new and existing machines through satellite internet service and ruggedized satellite terminals. This will fully enable technologies such as autonomy, real-time data sharing, remote diagnostics, enhanced self-repair solutions, and machine-to-machine communication, according to Deere.

“John Deere has led the agriculture equipment industry for more than two decades with satellite-based precision guidance technology,” said Jahmy Hindman, SVP/CTO at John Deere. “Now, we are bringing satellite communications service to the farm at scale so farmers with cellular coverage challenges can maximize the value of connectivity to their operations. The SATCOM solution unlocks the John Deere tech stack so every farmer can fully utilize their current precision agriculture technology in addition to the new innovative solutions they will deploy in the future. We initiated this process with a fierce focus on delivering value to our customers, and this partnership ensures we have a solution that meets their needs today and in the future.”

John Deere dealers will install a ruggedized Starlink terminal on compatible machines, along with a 4G LTE JDLink modem to connect the machine to the John Deere operations center. The SATCOM solution will initially be available through a limited release in the United States and Brazil starting in the second half of 2024.

About the Author

Rod Sutton

I have served as the editorial lead of Construction Equipment magazine and ConstructionEquipment.com since 2001. 

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