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AGRIBUSINESS: High-Tech Agriculture is Getting Even More Techy

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Imagine being able to lock and unlock machine shed doors, control the temperature, and monitor fuel tank or grain bin levels right from your smart phone, in real time. It's not science fiction - it's reality, and it's affordable.

Cloud computing on this level is possible through a new agreement between Iowa Network services and a company called clear 2 there, which ties together peripheral sensors and devices, and tracks them through a phone or tablet. INS provides the underlying internet access to rural telecoms, and together, Joe Hrdlicka with the Iowa Telecommunications Association says the whole thing is pushing rural economies forward. He went on to say that we are a state that is dependent on agriculture as an industry and when you sit down to eat you think about the farmer- that’s who this is helping.

Hrdlicka also mentioned that this technology is helping farmers be more productive, making them safer, and making them more mobile. It is allowing farmers to put food on the table a lot more cost-effectively. And depending on the capital investment for equipment like sensors or locks, costs for smart farm technology could be in the neighborhood of just a thousand dollars, with a recurring service charge comparable to a data plan for a smartphone.