Spring is in the air and summer is just around the corner. It is time to get out the Old Farmers Almanac and check on the planting schedule as you plan out your garden. If you are unfamiliar with a Farmers Almanac, it is a publication containing weather forecasts, planting charts, astronomical data, recipes, and articles for the upcoming year dating back to 1792.
Like the Almanac, Samtec’s website can provide all the support and tools to equip you in your next years planning for electronic connectors and support.
How do the big farmers out there do it? How do they make a connected farm that utilizes today’s technology to improve productivity? How and where does Samtec fit in all of this?
What is in a Connected Farm?
If you add technology and link it to analytics to help run your farm, you may be working on a connected farm. A connected application on a farm may be for monitoring, tracking, or automating a process. Here are a few ways that you could connect your farm.
This could be air quality monitoring in your agricultural space to self-driving equipment plowing the fields. Sealed connectors in a sheep barn to rugged connectors for robotics used to guide your five ton tractor through the field are available solutions. Applications here could improve the health of your animals or the yield of your field.
Analytics and connecting all the applications together can transfer large amounts of data. High Speed connectors can make sure that data transfer happens quickly and seamlessly. Samtec has products in the data centers and along the entire path to make sure there is no delay in connecting your farm.
From satellite positions to network cell towers Samtec has products across all of these areas. As mentioned above one way to learn more about these are to explore our 5G landing page.
Infrastructure Challenges to the Connected Farm
Before digging into applications of the connected farm we first need to look at and acknowledge that some regions may not have and option to be fully connected. Looking across the United States we still have room for improvement on the broadband infrastructure. According to the FCC here in the States “80 percent of the 24 million American households that do not have reliable, affordable high-speed internet are in rural areas”
The first graph shown here is showing significant farmland in the continental United States. The second is accessibility to broadband internet, where the yellow is limited to no connectivity. There are some overlaps of limited broadband over the significant farm/rural lands.
There are other areas of concern outside of connectivity. Sarah Hubbart wrote a nice article on RURAL INFRASTRUCTURE CONNECT AMERICA’S FARMERS WITH THE WORLD that goes in to other infrastructure areas if you would like to read more.
For Samtec we focus on how we can enable the fasted data transfer from connected and wireless devices. This may be in the direct hardware mounted to a piece of equipment to the towers that create the wireless network. We have a full page on how we are helping with the 5G network and hardware associated with it.
Analytics vs. Gut Feel
If you haven’t read David’s recent article on Gut Feel Engineering, you will see that there is a time and place for intuition verses making a decision with data. Farmers are not different and can react on the spot with years of experience and intuition, but they also know that being more efficient and productive puts more bread on everyone’s table. Depending on the article you read 5%-10% efficiency could be gained with any one integration of the connected farm.
Samtec will keep making innovation to better connect the world wherever you are and whatever field you are out…standing in (engineering field or a corn field)!