The future of the farm equipment business includes autonomous technology, artificial intelligence and data. Association of Equipment Manufacturers senior vice president of agricultural services Curt Blades says the labor supply shortage could drive significant changes to the equipment business. “A large portion of a piece of equipment’s weight is due to the equipment’s length,” said Blades. “The width is there is to be efficient as possible with fewer operators.” If that people problem is addressed, Blades says it fundamentally changes the farm equipment business. A prototype swarm tractor that is only three feet wide is a concept being discussed. “The idea would be the farmer would have 12 of these and have them swarm a field, come back and dock before going to the next field.” Blades, who was part of the National Farm Machinery Show, said this technology is still years away, but the industry is moving in that direction.
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