Courtesy of the Wooster Daily Record

WOOSTER — Centerra Co-op sales manager Don Daniels made a bold prediction.

Or was it?

“I’m 52 years old and by the time my career is over, we’re going to have a farmer in our area running a tractor autonomously,” said Daniels, who added that agriculture is entering “a Jetson’s kind of world.”

How much local farmers will buy into the world, Daniels said, depends how much time and money they’re willing to invest.

The driverless (and thus cab-less) tractor is just one more way technology is changing the face of agriculture. “There’s still a lot of work to be done (on driverless equipment), but it’s pretty fun stuff to see how it’s done.”

Even now, technology is helping the farmer in the tractor, Daniels said, with automated steering that cuts down on overlaps and skips in the field. It also reduces fatigue in terms of the time “when they physically had to put their hands on the wheel,” he said. And less stress means a happier life at home.

There are new possibilities brought about through technology that simply would not be possible without it. Two corn hybrids can be planted in the same field, at the same time now and “oh, by the way,” Daniels said, “we can also adjust the seeding rate.”

A lot of the technological advances in the field concern data gathering, Daniel said, so it makes sense that the next generation of technology will involve ways to sort and analyze the data that is being gathered.

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