Telematic systems to monitor machine performance and streamline logistics are becoming standard equipment. Systems that simplify the transfer of field data such as A/B lines, spraying prescriptions and real-time yields to and from tractors, sprayers and combines are piggybacking on the trend.

The common denominator — besides the cellular field modems required for both — is the desire to improve overall farm efficiency by harvesting and better using data that drive farm decisions and field activities.

Although telematics as standard equipment is just getting under way in the U.S., it will become the status quo if agriculture follows the pattern of oil, mining, construction and trucking industries, says Kirk Appleford of Raven Industries.

“The whole agriculture industry is moving very quickly toward telematics,” says Appleford, who worked on the team that developed Raven’s Slingshot cellular RTK and data communications system. “Telematics will offer huge savings for manufacturers and customers. From what I have seen, eventually it will be included on every piece of power equipment coming out of the factory and will probably be free during the warranty period.”

Here’s a look at new telematics and data transfer offerings for 2012 and beyond.