So how much smarter will implements get? “Hard to say,” says Ben Craker, marketing specialist with AGCO Corporation's Advanced Technology Solutions. “I'm sure autonomous [robotic] vehicles are just over the horizon. These would be very smart implements.”
Engineers are working on wireless transfer of data from implements. “All data will be logged and wirelessly transmitted to the home computer for analysis and record keeping in farm management software that allows the user to make variable-rate maps and keep track of input costs and profit per square foot of a field,” Craker adds.
In the meantime, he says, many of the features currently available as an option (such as implement steering and automatic point-row shutoff) will become standard equipment.
Stone says, “Perhaps the ultimate goal would be to build farming systems that allow farmers to focus their efforts on tasks they enjoy and let the machines handle the tedium.”