This year’s Farm Progress Show in Decatur had my attention from the start.
The parking lot may have been a tad soggy for opening day, but it seems the show was another success. Clear skies greeted the thousands of visitors who visited Progress City USA adjacent to Richland Community College to see the latest in ag.
I was very impressed with Smart Ag’s commercial launch of a driverless grain cart system. The software platform and aftermarket kit fully automates a grain cart tractor for use during harvest. Smart Ag is an investor-backed technology company developing autonomous farming solutions for row crop agriculture and was founded in 2015.
The retro-fit kit fits any John Deere 8R series tractor allowing easy unloading on the go.
“We can sync with the combine and he can dump while moving,” explained Quincy Milloy, co-founder and engineer. “The combine operator is in control the whole time.”
The combine driver can send the tractor off to a certain point at the edge of the field where grain can be unloaded into trucks. More information can be found at www.Smart-Ag.com.
Nutrien Ag Solutions had a futuristic dome displayed at the show. The design was intended to show farmers the broad range of possibilities from the company.
“We always want to be in front of things and we want to help our growers be in front of the latest challenge,” said Nicole Phillips, senior director of marketing for Nutrien.
Visitors to the exhibit area experienced a 360-dgree video display discussing innovation and what it takes to be a leader out in the field. The ag retailer even gave away pop-sickles and introduced attendees to a race car driver who also farms.
“We have a number of digital services like our customer portal that help you be more efficient and smarter about what you are doing,” Phillips added.
U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue visited the show grounds on Wednesday after taking part in an agricultural discussion with others in the industry. He also addressed members of the media in the afternoon.
(The View from the Cab is powered by Petersen Motors of Fairbury)