Washington, DC – RWA fully supports the recommendations made by the Federal Communications Commission’s Task Force for Reviewing the Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture in its released report. Among its many recommendations, the Task Force recommends that the FCC and the United States Department of Agriculture: (1) improve federal broadband maps and consistently validate user experiences; (2) increase incentives for buildout of infrastructure; (3) clarify precision agriculture infrastructure as an eligible expense for federal broadband programs; (4) enhance broadband standards to meet agriculture technology needs; (5) improve collaboration among federal agencies; and (6) increase digital access to education and training for farmers.
Currently, the necessary broadband infrastructure to support precision agriculture across farms and ranches is significantly lacking in rural America. It is imperative that the U.S. work to increase usage of broadband technology and applications on our farms and ranches to support the goal of doubling our food supply by 2050. The Task Force’s recommendations focus efforts towards utilizing precision agriculture applications that will incorporate 5G, edge computing, cameras, drones and robotic devices to enable automation of farming operations using AI technologies. This will allow farmers, ranchers and rural communities to see numerous economic benefits that will position the U.S. to be the global leader in agricultural production. The Department of Agriculture projected that such use of precision agriculture applications could have a $65 billion impact on the annual U.S. GDP.
RWA looks forward to FCC and USDA action to implement these recommendations.