Tractor manufacturer John Deere has signed a deal with SpaceX’s Starlink that will see the satellite company provide connectivity to farming equipment in remote locations.

“Starlink is ideal for rural locations. Later this year, John Deere will begin equipping new and existing machines across the United States and Brazil with Starlink to help connect farmers with high-speed internet so they can fully leverage precision agriculture technologies,” Starlink posted on X (formerly Twitter) this week.

John Deere Tractor
– John Deere

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk added: “This will be great for farmers.”

The deal will provide satellite connectivity to tractors, seed planters, crop sprayers, and other equipment in areas that lack adequate Internet service, allowing them to use Deere’s digital products.

“This takes us a step closer to ubiquitous connectivity anywhere in the world. The biggest opportunity for us is to expose existing technologies to more customers,” John Deere CTO Jahmy Hindman told the Wall Street Journal.

The WSJ said Deere tested satellites for about eight months before settling on Starlink over Intelsat due in part to the company's high speeds and low latency. The move will help automate planting and harvesting in remote locations.

In 2022 the tractor manufacturer announced an RFP for a ‘satellite communications opportunity’ with the company. At the time the company said it was seeking a solution that will “further connect its fleet of intelligent machines” and “enhance the satellite connectivity that Deere is already delivering to its customers.”

John Deere aims to generate 10 percent of its annual revenue from software service fees – which can provide real-time data to farmers.