While I do work full time in the industry under the JVCKENWOOD umbrella as 1923 has some significance to my employer (as it also does to my alma mater), I do a lot of side work refurbishing and reselling two way radios (primarily Motorola). I end up working with a lot of rural VFD’s and farmers/ranchers and my two best friends are actually west Texas cotton farmers (i.e. they strip…cotton if there needs to be some clarification…for money) not to mention both actively involved with their respective VFD’s. I actually run my side business as an agribusiness (plus, I live in a state that is very pro-agriculture) subsidiary of the livestock company I formed for my kids 4H projects. I agreed with most of the points made but also wanted to point some things out.
These days it’s very difficult to subsistence farm on 100 acres or less (unless we are talking about a very specialized crop related to hemp) so many “family” farming operations easily cover 500-2000 acres of land and it’s not uncommon for them to span multiple counties and even state lines (I actually operate my stuff across three states). This can make commercial licensing somewhat challenging depending on what is being done as you may need to dip into itinerant licensing or create multiple fixed area licenses to meet the needs of the operation.
I’ve found UHF isn’t always the go-to band for equipment. Yes it seems to often be much easier to obtain UHF licenses and gear but I’ve found with the number of farmers who are also volunteer fire fighters…it often pays to do a little research and pick solutions with some level of interoperability so a POV doesn’t need two radios…simply reprogram the existing (if permission is granted by those in charge of managing FD assets).
There’s quite a mix of what is needed. During harvest, 95% of the communications may be in-field and low power equipment may be 100% practical. Day to day (monitoring irrigation, equipment repairs and other maintenance) may require higher power gear or some level of infrastructure. Totally in agreement that business licensing is often the best way to go though.
Now I just need a good way to integrate my fulltime (think LMR meets IoT) with agricultural solutions…