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Watchwords for 2011

What new terms will you add to your vocabulary next year.

New trends can change how we talk. Who would have thought a year ago that Twitter would mean more than a bird sound today (follow me at Or that vertical tillage would become a common phrase.

With new tech trends and new ways to farm you often find yourself hearing the unfamiliar. So what might we hear more of in 2011?

It's hard to know what will actually take hold, but I have some suggestions for words you night want to become more familiar with in the New Year.

Telematics will be bandied about a bit for 2011. This is the use of telecommunications tools to transmit information from field to farm. You may have heard of it lately, be assured that we will be hearing plenty more. With this technology you can know where a specific machine is located and what it's doing at any time. And as this technology becomes more advanced, you or your dealer may be able to poll a machine to determine if there are any problems ahead.

For example, your dealer will one day soon be able to check on specific engine functions. If the machine is not running right, the dealer could pull engine codes and find any problems. Few management strategies can save you more money than the potential for scheduled downtime.

Networked Farm is in the same realm, but will offer new ways to move data around the farm. With these systems field data captured at planting, spraying and during other operations is not only stored locally in the tractor or combine, but is transmitted to your office (in fact, it is transmitted to a 'cloud' location which is safe and secure for you to download at your leisure). This will ease data transfer issues and could lead to more and better use of that information for farm management.

App is a word that many bandy about and if you're moving to a smart phone for 2011 you'll want to become familiar with term. Short for application, these are the tools that convert a smart phone from brick to useful tool. Depending on the type you buy, you have choices for everything from weather to growing degree day tools. In fact, Farm Progress has a Growing Degree Days app you can install on an Android phone (the Droid from Motorola or LG or Samsung are good examples) to an iPhone. Just search "growing degree days" in the Android marketplace or in iTunes to install.

Those apps will grow for agriculture, but consider business apps too. You can find everything from spreadsheets to market tracking tools for your phone. And all the major platforms from Apple to Microsoft have apps.

Tier 4 is shorthand for the newest types of engines you'll be buying. Some call it Tier 4A and some all it Interim Tier 4, but no matter what you all it you'll find a more complicated tool under the hood. Tougher emission standards are forcing engineers to utilize a range of technologies to reduce both particulate matter and nitrous oxides your diesel emits. We won't debate or expound on the choices made - I've covered them in the past - but get familiar with the idea and what it may mewn for the equipment you buy.

I will stop with this short list but are there terms you're using today that weren't common just a few years ago? Share them here and expand the conversation.

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