I agree there is a huge lack of IoT specific network on farms. If farms today are considered to be a factory without a roof, well you’d be hard pressed to not find superior infrastructure in a factory…especially one with robotics.
However technologies such as LPWAN, LoRa, etc still need a gateway back to the www for ultimate cloud connectivity. The short range sensing from BLE, LoRa, and so on can transmit over wi-fi especially when we get into 802.11ah range. Hopefully we begin to see these ranges deployed sooner than later but it’s something already being done over at Farmwave ( https://farmwave.io/ ).
With the standardization of Wi-Fi across network devices around the globe, as well as utilized features such as UPnP on machinery, everything on the farm can already talk to each other seamlessly with technology we have today. Full farm infrastructure may not be the most economical for some farmers, but it can be done right now with added benefits of every device having access. Not just your John Deere tractor but your iPad that’s docked inside it too…the smart phone you’re carrying, and everything else on the farm. As well, traffic shaping allows us to tackle the issue of Big Data Privacy in Ag by having the capability to IPSEC VPN all farm data back to an allocated point…if you want to go that far.
My opinion, we’re not leveraging standard utilization of Wi-Fi as much as we can be. I’ve been on several farms in the past few years, from 10 acres to 110,000 acres, covered in 802.11 band wi-fi and they’ve been some of the most seamless connected farms I’ve been too. It’s also allowed them to flourish in others areas of IoT and on-farm technology such as drones which can live-stream data as it’s flying because it’s simultaneously transmitting over wi-fi. Granted, bandwidth is a problem in rural America, but it’s something some companies are working on every day…(albeit not always the right ones), but we’re trying. There’s also some of us lobbying for the funds from H.R. Bill 3152 .
Just my two cents, but a great article nonetheless.