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What will a farm look like in 30 years? Will the majority of growing occur indoors in large cities? Could we find robots planting and harvesting fields throughout the Heartland of America? 

In Singapore, a “Vertical Farm” building grows numerous plants inside a four-story building. Using a tried and true growing system of soil and seed, plants are set up on a vertical conveyer belt and rotated near windows every two hours consistently watered throughout the day. This trend coincides with a demographic trend of 80% of the earth’s population residing in urban centers by the year 2050.

  Inverted conveyer belt rotates plants consistently to receive sunlight.

 Inverted conveyer belt rotates plants consistently to receive sunlight.

 Boone, Iowa witnessed a revolutionary new tractor at the annual Farm Progress Show recently. Autonomous Solutions, Inc. and Case IH teamed up to create “Autonomous Concept Vehicle” looks like most other tractors in the field except for one small difference – no cab for the driver.

Equipped with radar, GPS, and cameras, this tractor is controlled by a farmer with a laptop or tablet…not a steering wheel. Similar to the self-driving car, this vehicle can efficiently plant and harvest the field while farmers tend to other responsibilities around the farm. It’s the Internet of Things changing how we work and live our lives.

CNH Autonomous Concept Vehicl

CNH Autonomous Concept Vehicl

This vehicle is still in concept stages and Case IH is working with farmers to integrate feedback. It will disrupt an industry that is slow to change and will change the future of the family farm.

The Internet of Things (IoT) encompasses the network of machine-to-machine communications through cloud computing and sensors. Devices talking to devices – often referred to as “smart” machines. Smart TV. Smart phone.  Smart watch. These are just a few devices with built-technology to control other “machines.”

Romo Durable Graphics has integrated communication devices into our graphics. RFID and NFC chips are sandwiched in and attached to decals. They have been used to measure the weight of recycling containers, read playing cards during live poker tournaments, and track athletes during bicycle races. 

There’s no escaping the Internet affecting our world and workforce. It’s best to keep an open mind and consult the experts. 

The "farmer in the dell" will soon be The farmer in the Dell® Computer!