Clements: USDA’s report “A Case for Rural Broadband” highlights the benefits full deployment of broadband offers to agriculture. Megan Nelson, American Farm Bureau Federation economic analyst, says the report shows policy makers the importance of fully implementing rural broadband.
Nelson: This is showing an approximate 18 percent of total production could be added to the agriculture sector if these technologies were meeting producer demand. However, an important thing to realize, too, is that these estimations are illustrating more for policy makers and educating them on some of these amazing technologies that are helping producers today.
Clements: Nelson says the livestock sector holds the biggest potential economic gain from full implementation of rural broadband.
Nelson: Livestock and dairies stand to benefit the most with about $20.7 billion added annually to this sector. Row crops stands to benefit about $13.7 billion annually, this is mainly yield improvement and reduced costs by limiting the number of inputs put on the fields.
Clements: Nelson says the report also provides a plan for moving forward.
Nelson: This is something that the administration has talked about, it’s definitely on a lot of people’s minds. Probably the most important part of this USDA report is their strategic action plan. They’re outlining some of the key priorities, which is full broadband deployment in addition to creating an environment for these innovations to be created.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.