Tech Trends

January 28, 2017 02:05 AM

These four areas will one day change ag, expert says

Technology is moving at an increasingly rapid pace—so fast experts predict more will change in the next 10 years than in the past century. 

No need to wait a decade to see what comes next, however. “The rapid increase in technology changes that has expanded our computing capability has also caused decreases in the costs to do business,” says John Shutske, University of Wisconsin Extension biological systems specialist. 

He says farmers should watch closely as four key technology trends are playing out now:

1. Computer capability. Imagine an air filter with an IP address that sends the manufacturer an email ordering a replacement when needed. And increasingly, farmers place sensors and other devices in the field to measure everything from weather information to pest pressures in real time.

2. Artificial intelligence. Early agricultural applications could include anything from pest management to scheduling operations, optimizing animal health or making regular crop health assessments. 

3. Autonomous vehicles. The technology has outpaced government regulations, Shutske says. Already extensive testing is underway for autonomous cars, trucks and tractors.

4. The sharing economy. Anyone who has rented a house using Airbnb or called a ride with Uber can easily see the appeal of sharing major assets, such as farm equipment.  

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