Wireless Hotspots Make Farming Easier

Prairie Gleanings

Wireless hotspots aren't just for hip coffee shops. See how they're making life easier on the farm.

Published on: May 17, 2010
When I set up my home office, one of the first things I bought was a wireless router.

I purchased a $50 Belkin router from Walmart. My primary concern was being able to connect to the internet from anywhere in the house. Thus, I could take my laptop on the back deck and write articles, and still be able to e-mail.

Once I got it hooked up, I quickly realized it was a far more functional piece of equipment than I'd originally imagined. We currently have two computers, a printer and two video game consoles "plugged in."

After meeting with Seaton farmers Doug and Clint Chaffer, they've shown me a wireless hotspot has a lot of functionality on the farm as well. Clint, Doug's son, has set up a network that links up with their Trimble guidance systems. When they pull a tractor up to their fueling station, any data they've compiled throughout the day automatically uploads to their farm office network.

Some of you are probably thinking, so what? Well, number one, it means no more transferring data on a USB drive. No more late-night trips in your pajamas to the machine shed to retrieve the week's data.

Second, once the data is uploaded, you can give access to a select few to download it. That means your agronomist, seed rep or GPS tech support can analyze your farm data without being there in person.

There's a lot more this concept will allow you to do. For instance, Clint can look at the data, modify A-B lines for the next piece of equipment and send the coordinates to the tractor cab. Pretty handy if you're running a planter behind a soil finisher. Check out the July Prairie Farmer for more details on the Chaffer's setup. I don't want to spoil it all here.

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