There’s still work to be done to understand how these products work across a broad range of conditions, but they could reshape the future of nutrient application. Researchers across the country are testing these sensors to help identify the payback.

Next year, we’ll see a few major releases of new displays and other hardware. We’ve already seen a few of these with the winter release of the Ag Leader Integra and the recent announcement of the Trimble CFX-750, the Deere GS3 2630 and the new line of Raven OmniRow planting control products.

Robotics technology has been around for at least 10 years. Most of the major equipment manufacturers have proven robotics technologies and some are commercially available for specialty applications like orchard spraying. Full robotics is still a ways away due to significant safety and liability issues, but continued machine function automation is definitely an industry focus.

Removing the driver is not in the foreseeable future, but automating more driver responsibilities is. For example, check out the auto-loading features of the new Claas forage harvesters.