The term artificial intelligence, or AI, as it relates to agriculture, is often equated with other trending technologies like autonomous equipment and field sensors.

But AI-based equipment is distinct in that rather than being programed to perform a function, it’s being designed to interpret data pulled from the field, act on it and teach itself best practices in the process.

Ohio State ag engineering professor Scott Shearer envisions a future where less equipment ownership is necessary on the farmer’s end. That could come in the form of leasing equipment or contracting for the service of AI-enabled equipment

Those changes could have a serious effect on how dealerships operate, but Shearer says the need for specialized service isn’t going anywhere — even if it changes shape.


While it’s still going to take some time to separate the science from the fiction of AI-capable tools in ag, Shearer expects the industry will likely first see “supervised autonomy” with farmers watching over a handful of equipment in the field and monitoring performance.