The partnership between Deere, a heavy-equipment powerhouse, and Elon Musk's SpaceX is a glimpse into the future of two thriving industries. However, their collaborative venture isn't destined for the stars; instead, it firmly grounds itself in the realm of Earth.
According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Deere will utilize SpaceX's Starlink Wi-Fi hardware and software to establish internet connectivity for their machines in remote areas. Despite multiple requests for comment, both companies remained silent on the matter.
This groundbreaking partnership holds immense value.
In the agricultural sector, internet connectivity is essential for the functionality of farming equipment. Today, tractors and combines possess the ability to operate autonomously, adaptively adjusting the application rates of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides based on the composition of the soil.
For farmers, the advantages are clear: higher crop yields and reduced costs. Consequently, Deere and other industry leaders invest heavily in advanced technological solutions, all with the primary aim of improving profit margins.
Opting for Starlink's space-based Wi-Fi proves to be a wise choice. This revolutionary technology thrives in rural settings—which often lack the infrastructure required for traditional cable, modem, and router installations—while also avoiding signal interference caused by towering structures.
Most notably, Starlink currently surpasses all competitors as the preeminent provider of space-based internet connectivity.
SpaceX's Satellite Dominance
One of the primary reasons behind SpaceX's extensive satellite network is its dominance in space launch operations. In 2023 alone, the company successfully completed 98 launches, marking a substantial 60% increase compared to the previous year. These launches accounted for approximately 45% of all orbital space launches worldwide. Furthermore, around 60% of SpaceX's launches in 2023 involved deploying their satellites into low Earth orbit.
Apart from its widespread adoption in industries such as aviation and maritime, SpaceX's Starlink service has also attracted agricultural equipment giant Deere and its counterparts. With the necessity to connect their equipment to the internet, companies like Deere are relying on SpaceX's superior satellite network.
Although other satellite companies and Wi-Fi providers exist, SpaceX stands as the premier provider in the industry with its unrivaled infrastructure and capabilities.
As a privately held company with a staggering valuation of $175 billion, SpaceX's shares are not publicly traded on stock exchanges. Therefore, investors and enthusiasts are unable to directly invest in the company.
While Deere's stock experienced a slight decline of 0.3% in premarket trading on Tuesday, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell by 0.4% and 0.2%, respectively.