Agricultural has become increasingly reliant on technology for water and energy conservation, reduction of chemical inputs, and increased productivity.
Most of this technology requires Internet access, yet many rural areas do not have access to broadband–technology-neutral, high-speed Internet access from both wired and wireless infrastructure. Without access to broadband, farmers and ranchers are unable to adopt new technologies necessary to stay economically viable.
Valley Vision is working to support keeping ag land in agriculture. The project has three components: research, a grower’s survey, and a field study. The research conducted by Valley Vision summarizes findings on existing research, studies in progress, and research gaps. Our proximity to UC Davis, the premiere agricultural research university in the nation, gives us access to the most up-to-date information.
In partnership with the Yolo County Agriculture Commissioner’s office, Valley Vision administered a survey to growers in early 2017. The results show that 70% of growers have some coverage, while 30% have none. Among those who have coverage, no one reported 100% coverage. Additionally, growers are being innovative in their solutions, creating mobile hotspots and “rigging up” coverage that is ultimately unsustainable. Other survey findings are included in the final report.