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Tech Tuesday

Looking Ahead at Farm Tech

Is this the year of the app? The year of no apps? And how will your precision farm program get even better?

A New Year brings new questions and opportunities. We can figuratively wipe away 2012 and act almost as if we're starting with a clean farm slate. Of course the fact that drought is lingering, the Mississippi River could close at any minute and we just had the warmest year since 1931...well it looks like 2013 will be interesting.

This year we're going to see some tech advances and I'll sum up a few here, but keep up with me this year as I try to help you make sense of a lot of new stuff heading our way.

Telematics will get greater credence this year as more products come to market that allow equipment to communicate back and forth. The use of these kinds of tools will enhance productivity and efficiency, and should pay for itself in the long run.

That's going to bring up better, more precise use of yield map, soil fertility and other data on your farm. If you can beam an A/B line from office to sprayer - even a custom sprayer - without leaving your chair, you can enhance what you can do on the farm. Precision-level information is of greater importance than ever as farmers work to push up yields, maximizing telematics and other communication tools only makes sense. Your dealer is your best starting point for that conversation.

Apps will get more prolific for agriculture - you know we have our own list from Farm Progress, but we're going to hear about a lot more. We may also be hearing about "app-less" apps. The rise of a new kind of Web programing calling HTML5 makes it possible for some very nice web-based presentation of information on ANY platform. Sites that move to HTML5 can deliver app-level power without the need to download an app. That skips an intermediary like the Apple App Store or Google Play, and allows for much faster upgrades.

You'll be seeing more multi-platform friendly sites this year, and you can credit HTML5 with the benefits. It's a good thing in the long run, the tablet has become the computer of choice for a lot of users.

These are just two areas I see as important for 2013, I expect to see a lot more after some travel early this year. I'll keep you posted as I learn more. And Happy New Year.

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