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Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association (FEMA) reports:

Predicting the future can be fun, but divining the course of technology is not always easy.

Certain ideas appear destined to come to market, but others that seem less likely can actually take hold.

In Farm Industry News, Willie Vogt and Jodie Wehrspann list the top trending technologies that could impact your business in the next 10 years. Watch for these tools and innovations that may become commonplace sooner than you think.

1. Wearable computers Access key tools-camera, video, even Internet without pulling your smart phone out of your pocket. Samsung has launched a watch tool as an interface to the phone, so you can answer from your wrist. Apple is rumored to be rolling out some kind of wrist product later this year. Google's Android operating system is working on a new version called Android Wear.

2. Next-wave ISOBUS ISO 11783 is a communications protocol for farm equipment designed to ensure the electronics systems onboard will work with all brands, using a common language. Not all equipment complies with this standard, but the equipment that does is called ISOBUS-certified, a label to look for when buying equipment to take advantage of the new and future functions.

3. Electric motors In five years, electric drives will be ubiquitous on implements, and you'll be glad you have them. Small electric motors, powered by a battery or alternator on the tractor or implement, will control most functions formerly operated mechanically or hydraulically.

4. High-voltage tractors Tractors are power units in the field, pulling implements and also providing hydraulic or PTO power to them. In Europe, they're looking at on-tractor generation equipment that creates electric power to drive implements. While still in the early concept stages, this kind of high-voltage system offers some benefits.

5. Sensors in agriculture The rising use of sensors in ag offers greater precision and potentially greater safety. Today, the most well-known sensors are soil moisture sensors being deployed by irrigation companies, but there's more ahead.

6. Predictive down pressure Down-pressure systems keep implements level when there are changes in soils or terrain. But what if you could sense those changes ahead of time and apply just the right amount of force on the frame before the next seed is planted or more ground is tilled?

7. Unmanned aerial systems A UAS can take pictures good enough to aid in input-buying decisions. The data it provides can help confirm high- and low-yielding areas so you can identify stressors that may account for those variances. Aerial imaging can aid in finding wet spots in fields, elevations and nitrogen deficiencies using infrared images. Soon, farmers will be able to zoom in and identify insects, weeds or rusty spots threatening yields.

8. Autonomous systems Robots, which can work around the clock, are one option to producing more grain with a limited farm labor pool. At least half a dozen companies plan to market a robot in 2015.

9. 3-D printing Rapid Prototype Engineering helps engineers create new machines faster by allowing more iterations of spec parts than is possible with older, more conventional means.

10. Your own cloud? Open Ag Data Alliance is working to help farmers create ways to both easily pass information back and forth between suppliers, and retain ownership of the core data. Farmers can use a cloud-based system for storing their own data files or create a data cooperative with colleagues.

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