An old adage says that existing computer technology tends to be outpaced by newer technology in anywhere from six to 10 months. This curve isn’t nearly as pronounced in the world of agricultural equipment, but it soon might be.
This week, our staff is heading down to Louisville, KY, for the annual National Farm Machinery Show (NFMS). One of the largest indoor winter trade shows in the country, the NFMS typically draws between 200,000 and 300,000 visitors over its four days. Naturally, most everyone is there to see the latest ag equipment for themselves and place their orders with manufacturers for the upcoming growing season.
And technology should be ever present at the show. The past few years, I’ve been amazed at the number of automatic steering systems for vehicles and computer tracking programs I’ve seen at NFMS. This year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see dozens of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) buzzing around the Kentucky Exposition Center as well.
Also in the technology arena this year should be plenty of pieces of planting equipment using wireless technology, data transfer/collection and in-field guidance. In the past few years, Monsanto has upped the ante in this area with its purchase of Precision Planting. Earlier this year, Kinze and Raven Industries announced a partnership to do the same and John Deere is introducing its own version of this kind of system at the show.
This could all bode well for ag equipment makers in the long run. According to some industry observers, 2014 could be a great time for ag retailers and grower-customers to look to upgrade their equipment options as older pieces of machinery become increasingly unable to keep up with some of these new technology developments.
Next week, we will present some of our observations and product finds from the NFMS. So stay tuned . . .