Why Drones May Become as Important to Iowa Farmers as Tractors

Written by Kristi Salmon on December 28, 2017.

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Imagine the modern farm. A few cows eating grass, crops lining another field, chickens in a pen and an eye in the sky overlooking it all. Welcome to the farm the inclusion of drones, small flying planes that can scan an area with precision that's controlled by the farmer who may be sitting comfortably on his porch. Of all the technological changes in the agribusiness sector, the use of drones is one that is very much anticipated. There are plenty of reasons why drones can be a big help to farmers, however the learning curve to using this advanced technology could inhibit some from adaption. Either way, this is another changing face of the way technology has impacted rural communities. In this article from the Des Moines Register, farmers in Iowa discuss their feelings on having a bird's eye view of their land.

The Midwest is known for being a subject matter expert on agriculture. But lately the term agribusiness has redefined what it means to be a farmer and how one manages his crops.  The use of technology has given these businessmen a new insight into how to care for crops, forecast elements and find ways to yield the best production they possibly can along with data to analyze these processes.

In the Des Moines Register article, we also see a use of drones to capture a better view of the farm that traditionally was only able to be done on foot. The ability for farmers to be more efficient and strategic is right at their fingertips, not to mention the time saved by using this level of technology.

These images and videos are bandwidth extensive.  The sheer upload/download and transferring of those files requires fast and reliable bandwidth.  Technology demands powerful broadband and new technology ideas are only as strong as the broadband behind them.  The notion of Silicon Prairie is becoming a reality. With an increased number of hubs and incubator locations, startups are emerging and Iowa is poised to be a hotbed of innovation.  This movement includes revolutionizing how agribusiness takes place, especially when it comes to machine-to-machine communication.  In our Industry Insights blog: Agribusiness – Farm Forward and the New Evolution of this Emerging Vertical, we dive deep into this notion and the advancements happening on the farm. 

Being able to utilize technologies of this nature will determine if places in rural America will be a viable player in the new wave of technology innovation.  Mediacom’s $1B investment in the communities it serves to upgrade and expand its broadband infrastructure will surely be a launching off point for businesses that want to transform the way they do business by way of technology. Broadband is a key player to fuel what the Midwest is intellectually known for and extending that intelligence far beyond the farm lines.  Adequate broadband access keeps businesses local, but the internet also allows for competition on a state, national, and global stage.  More importantly, it provides businesses the opportunity to find good talent. This combination of ability is vital to the economic development of any community.