John Deere orders Starlink connectivity
January 17, 2024
By Chris Forrester
The John Deere brand is known to every farmer on the planet and is one of the largest suppliers of tractors and sophisticated farming equipment. The company has selected SpaceX’s Starlink in order to expand its existing connections for farmers – and their equipment.
The agreement sees Deere & Company link with SpaceX to provide Sat-Com service to farmers — using the Starlink network. This solution will allow farmers facing rural connectivity challenges to fully leverage precision agriculture technologies.
This partnership, claimed to be an industry first, will enable John Deere customers to be more productive, profitable, and sustainable in their operations as they continue to provide food, fuel and fibre for their communities and a growing global population.
The SpaceX solution will connect new and existing machines through satellite internet service and “ruggedised” satellite terminals, says the joint statement. This will fully enable technologies, such as autonomy, real-time data sharing, remote diagnostics, enhanced self-repair solutions, and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication, all of which help farmers work more efficiently while minimising downtime.
John Deere dealers will install the special Starlink terminal on compatible machines, along with a 4G LTE JDLink modem to connect the machine to the John Deere Operations Center. The solution will initially be available through a limited release in the US and Brazil starting in the second half of 2024.
“The value of connectivity to farmers is broader than any single task or action. Connectivity unlocks vast opportunities that were previously limited or unavailable,” said Aaron Wetzel, VP/Production and Precision Ag Production Systems at John Deere. “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.”