Solar storm halts farming equipment during planting season

On occasion, I'll look up from hour three of mindless scrolling and begin cursing the gods of technology for allowing me to become so helplessly glued to social media. I find myself praying for that big ole solar flare, you know, the one that's supposed to fry all the microchips or what have you. But then I read a story like this, where a solar incident actually messed with technology pretty significantly, and I have to remind myself that these prayers are short-sighted. I don't live on a self-sufficient farm in the woods, I am inextricably linked to the continued delivery of food and goods to the grocery store near me, as is everyone else. In short; I apologize if my loud prayers were heard and resulted in a technologically devastating solar storm. My bad.

Jason Koebler, 404 Media:

"…some GPS systems were temporarily knocked offline. This caused intermittent connections and accuracy problems with "Real-Time Kinematic" (RTK) systems, which connect to John Deere "StarFire" receivers that are in modern tractors and agricultural equipment. … "The fact that this happened also highlights how vulnerable modern food supplies are to GPS outages. Modern society as a whole is obviously very reliant on GPS, but experts have warned that tractors that rely on internet connections and on satellites are a particularly concerning attack vector."

Incidentally, the solar storm was also to thank for the incredible aurora borealis visible in much of the world this past weekend. But it might also cause future supply chain errors. Hopefully, tech-reliant agricultural companies like John Deere can find a way to plan for these kinds of incidents in the future. I suppose I will live on an autonomous farm if I have to, though.

Previously: Solar storm creates killer `zombie satellite`