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Farm it Out

IoT disabling reportedly used in war for farm vehicles near Melitopol

A CNN report says that remote capabilities were used to strategically disable farm equipment in Ukraine, indicating that IoT technology can be a useful tool in the war.

Back on May 6, Russian troops in the occupied city of Melitopol seized a cache of equipment from a farming dealership—including a number of American-made John Deere tractors and similar agricultural vehicles used for harvesting grain—then shipped it all to Chechnya (a region in western Russia), according to a CNN account citing an unnamed "Ukrainian businessman in the area."

Ukrainian farmers plant sugar beet seeds on March 26, in Humnyska—CNN photo

According to CNN, the Russians came home disappointed: "after a journey of more than 700 miles, the thieves were unable to use any of the equipment because it had been locked remotely."

Agricultural equipment is playing an especially crucial role in the conflict. Ukraine is one of the grain capitals of the world, and its harvesting routines and ability to export have been compromised—if not altogether halted—due to Russian blockades in the Black Sea and constant bombardment elsewhere.

This means, from a manufacturing standpoint, there could be hoards of useful farm equipment going unused.

CNN said it "has learned that the equipment was removed from an Agrotek dealership in Melitopol, which has been occupied by Russian forces since early March." That name doesn't have any official listings online. "Altogether it's valued at nearly $5 million. The combine harvesters alone are worth $300,000 each."

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