FARGO, N.D., June 6, 2023 – Trilogy Networks, the leader in AI-powered precision agricultural infrastructure and data-driven farming solutions, and MLGC, an ultra-high-speed broadband and business services provider, today announced the Dakota Innovation Corridor Project (Dakota*ICP), a multimillion-dollar commitment to dramatically advance the adoption of data-driven farming practices across North Dakota.
“This is the world’s largest deployment of precision agricultural infrastructure to enable data-driven farming,” said George Woodward, president and CEO of Trilogy Networks. “North Dakota delivers the perfect combination of innovation, scale, and some of the richest farmland in the world. We welcome MLGC as a strategic partner to co-market, sell, and support precision ag infrastructure solutions that will deliver timely and actionable information to sustainably increase yields, profitability, and efficiency.”
Dakota*ICP spans 250 square miles that includes 25 large family-owned farms operating more than 150,000 acres. Every farm will have access to MLGC’s 10-gigabit ultra-high-speed broadband combined with Trilogy’s FarmGridTM, the world’s only cloud native AI-powered full-stack precision agriculture infrastructure solution.
FarmGrid includes hyper-local soil and micro-local climate sensors that connect to the growers private 5G and AI-powered edge network. Each farm has a highly secure and fully integrated cloud connection that includes a farmer-controlled private data vault and marketplace that allows growers to monetize their business intelligence making data the new crop.
FarmGrid provides ag-focused artificial intelligence, aerial imagery processing, advanced soil analytics, micro-climate monitoring, and autonomy, all designed to deliver automation and time-sensitive actionable information to the 2.1 million growers in the U.S.
The Dakota*ICP relies on MLGC’s world-class telecommunications network in North Dakota. MLGC continues to invest with a $17 million expansion at the heart of the innovation corridor, on top of the tens of millions dollars invested over time by MLGC to build its network.
“MLGC advanced from broadband connections to broadacre solutions; we’re moving beyond last mile connectivity to providing last acre coverage to every farm we serve,” said Tyler Kilde, MLGC’s president and CEO. “Our partnership with Trilogy Networks continues a long history of investing millions to deliver the industry’s most advanced solutions to our rural customers. Connected by our 10-gigabit network, Trilogy’s FarmGrid precision agriculture infrastructure and data-driven farming practices will deliver unimaginable gains to farmers in North Dakota and serve as an example for farmers around the world.”
The project is engineered to enable, validate, and accelerate the adoption of data-driven farming practices to increase yields, lower costs, and improve profitability while lowering environmental impacts. In addition to benefiting farmers, the data will drive highly valued business intelligence that can be marketed to the multi-billion dollar seed, nutrient, and crop protection industries, in addition to large agricultural enterprises and the entire agri-food industry.
The Agriculture Act of 2018 included the congressional declaration acknowledging forecasts that the world will be 50% short of food by the year 2050. Recent climate events combined with the Russian-Ukrainian war accelerated the potential for a food crisis on a global scale. National and international organizations are calling for technological solutions to be in place by the year 2030 if forecasted food shortages are to be prevented.
“The Dakota*ICP is the realization of the congressional call to deploy technology to sustainably double America’s crop yields to prevent a potential global famine,” said Woodward. “Our FarmGrid precision ag infrastructure dramatically accelerates the digital transformation for American farmers. The cloud native AI powered full-stack architecture provides business intelligence and supply chain visibility required by the multitude of stakeholders in America’s $1.5 trillion agri-food industry.”
To oversee the successful launch and growth of the Dakota*ICP, Trilogy Networks announced it will open its Center for Agricultural Innovation in Fargo, North Dakota. Led by Woodward, the center will focus on deploying and adopting data-driven farming practices in the Red River Valley and throughout the state. Trilogy plans to hire a full staff at the center to support the business development, engineering and customer support functions for the entire region.