Anyone shopping for new farm equipment should by now be aware of this acronym. It is loosely used to indicate compliance with the International Standard Organization (ISO) 11783 standard that allows different brands of electronic devices on farm equipment to easily communicate with each other through one common connection.

Farm machinery manufacturers have been working on this standard since 2001. But it wasn't until recently that consumers started to see the results of this industry-wide effort. A record number of companies launched ISOBUS equipment in 2006, according to William Rudolph, North American ISOBUS Implementation Taskforce and TeeJet technical director. Expect to see even more companies offering products that meet this standard.

Here are some tips from Rudolph to ensure you buy up-to-date electronic equipment:

  1. When you purchase your next tractor, make sure it is ISOBUS compatible.

  2. Purchase ISOBUS-compatible implements that come with an ISOBUS monitor (if you don't already have one).

  3. Purchase an ISOBUS monitor in conjunction with your first ISOBUS-compatible implement so you can use the same monitor with future implement purchases.

Visit this Web site for a list of manufacturers of ISOBUS-compliant devices: http://www.isobus.net/isobus_E.