The greatest revolution in agricultural equipment is the new technology that producers will be able to use on their machinery to improve efficiency and productivity in the field. That's according to Barry Nelson, media relations manager for John Deere, when asked to share his outlook for farm machinery in 2013 and beyond.
"There are three areas that every customer should ask their dealer about to make farm operations more efficient," Nelson says. Here's what they are:
1.Machine Optimization:"What technology can I put on a new or used machine to give it more capacity and productivity?" Nelson says. "For example, GPS and AutoTrac assisted steering will reduce passes through the field, improve overall fuel economy, save horsepower, and increase overall comfort to the operator."
2.Logistics Optimization: As farms continue to consolidate, farm operators are challenged with managing larger fleets of equipment, Nelson says. Telematics, a technology that John Deere markets under the brand name JDLink, allows farmers to know where their machinery is located and whether it is idling or working in the field. "The producer is also able to make sure the right machine is working in the right field at the right time," Nelson says. "They are able to do this remotely from an office computer, iPad, or smart phone."
3.Agronomic Decision Support: As machinery is working in the field planting, tilling, and harvesting crops, producers will be able to gather millions of bits of data that they can use to make future agronomic decisions, Nelson says. "A good example is in a combine, where the machine can track yield and moisture while harvesting. How can a producer take this information and use it for the next planting season – to make sure they are using ideal seed populations for different fields (and areas of the same field) that have different soil conditions, field conditions, and water drainage issues." The Ag Decision Support technology will assist growers to analyze data and optimize the amount of seed, fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides for maximum yields – but with more efficient use of inputs.
"All of this new technology is available now, or will be soon," Nelson says. "This is all part of the John Deere FarmSight strategy that we have been rolling out the past two years."
John Deere gives farmers a sneak peek of what future farms could look like in the video, "Farm Forward," which it posted on youtube in August.