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Step into Autonomy Zone at HHD

Raven shows you how to work in your fields without human labor.

Tom J. Bechman, Midwest Crops Editor

September 6, 2023

1 Min Read
Raven OMNiDrive technology allows no body in tractor to drive in the field
LOOK MOM, NO BODY! Forget no hands. Raven OmniDrive technology under development allows you to go without even a warm body in the cab. Betty Haynes

Strange things happened on “Twilight Zone,” an iconic TV thriller featuring the voice of the late Rod Serling. At the introduction of each show, Serling said, “There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as eternity.”

Some may believe agriculture is approaching the “Twilight Zone,” as more autonomous equipment becomes reality. But most agree the equipment solves the No. 1 problem facing ag: lack of labor.

In the meantime, step into the Autonomy Zone and prepare to be amazed.

“Several advertisers are ready or almost ready to bring autonomous equipment to market, and Farm Progress set aside an area where exhibitors could show what their equipment can do,” says Matt Jungmann, Farm Progress national events director.

The Autonomy Zone can be found along Chief Flag Road, just off the east end of the showgrounds. Demonstrations at the Autonomy Zone will be continuous, so when enough people gather, exhibitors will show off their machines.

Technology from Raven will be found there. Rachel Hennen of Raven says the company will rotate a couple of technologies. See how Raven OmniDrive lets an operator control a tractor, and a grain cart or a Case IH fertilizer spreader without a driver. It’s what Raven refers to as “Path to Autonomy,” where the operator is in the field, not the cab.

Also, Raven cart automation will demonstrate technology that assists the operator on the machine so he or she can do other things.

Jungmann expects more companies to demonstrate products in the Autonomy Zone. All the ‘t’s weren’t crossed at press time. Venture out to see what other surprises await.

About the Author(s)

Tom J. Bechman

Midwest Crops Editor, Farm Progress

Tom J. Bechman became the Midwest Crops editor at Farm Progress in 2024 after serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer for 23 years. He joined Farm Progress in 1981 as a field editor, first writing stories to help farmers adjust to a difficult harvest after a tough weather year. His goal today is the same — writing stories that help farmers adjust to a changing environment in a profitable manner.

Bechman knows about Indiana agriculture because he grew up on a small dairy farm and worked with young farmers as a vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor before joining Farm Progress. He works closely with Purdue University specialists, Indiana Farm Bureau and commodity groups to cover cutting-edge issues affecting farmers. He specializes in writing crop stories with a focus on obtaining the highest and most economical yields possible.

Tom and his wife, Carla, have four children: Allison, Ashley, Daniel and Kayla, plus eight grandchildren. They raise produce for the food pantry and house 4-H animals for the grandkids on their small acreage near Franklin, Ind.

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