Broadband Benefits for Agriculture

The Internet is increasing communication and business opportunities within the agricultural community.  From the Global Positioning System (GPS) to fiber optics to computer-driven harvesters, some South Dakota farmers and ranchers use the highest level of technology and are among the most efficient producers in the world. Lack of broadband can hinder this effort. 

For consumers, this technology means higher quality food at a lower cost.

  • Allow our agriculture community to boost productivity which raises the standards of living for all families in South Dakota
  • Allow our agriculture community to research new methods of farming to increase outputs
  • Computers help producers monitor and respond to weather variability on a day-to-day (some hour-by-hour) basis. Farmers have the capabilities to monitor such items as current air and soil temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, leaf wetness, soil moisture, day length, wind speed and even solar radiation.

  • Many farmers, agricultural researchers, cooperatives, suppliers and buyers use the Internet to exchange ideas and information, as well as to conduct business with each other. Machinery, seed chemicals and other types of agricultural products can be purchased and sold online. People can search for jobs and employees.

  • Agriculture producers use the Internet to monitor prices quickly and as often as they like. Farmers from around the world can exchange ideas, post questions and get answers about specific topics, ranging from marketing and investing to tips on "no-till" farming.

  • Computers increase the amount of information farmers can process, from details on day-to-day operations to the latest research on new chemicals or biological breakthroughs. The computer allows farmers to study alternate management decisions.

  • Create new markets for existing rural businesses, including farms.
  • Niche markets, such as organic farm goods can now sell online
  • The farm sector, a pioneer in rural Internet use, is increasingly comprised of farm businesses that purchase inputs and make sales online.
  • The rancher who has an online auction to sell his bulls