Autonomous Tractor | Rethink Productivity


When Case IH showed their autonomous tractor concept vehicle at this fall’s farm shows, and through social media, WOW, did it create a firestorm of conversation. Just as in our political spectrum, the comments raged 1800 from one side of the argument to the other, on its merits. As time went on, I did hear Case IH’s VP of sales and marketing comment that this technology is still some ways out from being anywhere near mainstream, and that actually it will likely be orchards and vineyards, with small tractors, where this technology becomes first widely used. Many times though, when consumers see something like this, they tend to imagine it in full force, instead of what will likely transpire. Farming operation will, for a long time, still have multiple standard tractors, and then possibly one or two autonomous ones that could follow them down the road and work in the same field, performing a different operation. As an example, many operations today drill or plant double crop milo or soybeans, immediately behind the combines cutting wheat. An autonomous tractor could be pulling that drill or planter in the same field, and in full view of the combine and grain cart operators. Entering into a new era of technology in this manner, would obviously much be a much sounder plan, than purchasing a whole new fleet of autonomous tractors all at once.

While Case IH has achieved the desired headlines and viral social media threads with this concept tractor, rethinking productivity should be an ongoing part of any business. The world continues to change. Agricultural production, and the implements used for that production, will continue to evolve. We all must be ready to look at, review, and either adopt or reject changes that will occur. In our trade area we have farming operations that continue to utilize conventional farming practices, some that perform a combination of conventional and no-till, and then of course those that are completely no-till. It is likely that virtually every operation has looked at no-till concepts, but for many, they have rejected it as not a way to increase their productivity. Others have embraced no-till to its full extent. That is the great thing about living in our society, each operation can choose the route they want to take, and their success depends on those decisions.

Here at Straub’s, we encourage you to consult with our knowledgeable sales, parts, and service staffs, to assist you in determining the right products and services that will help make you more productive and successful. Your success equals our success, and we look forward to serving you in the future.

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