It won’t be long before the technology that we call “precision farming” will be so ubiquitous on farms throughout North America that to go without will be like buying a combine without air conditioning or a tractor without pneumatic tires.

This year, your customers will be hearing a lot more about precision farming then they have in the past, whether that’s from neighbors, the media, farm shows or your competition. Your customers are becoming more comfortable with the technology and what it means for their farming operation, and they’ll soon be asking your sales people questions about it. You don’t want to be the last dealer to take it on.

Companies that specialize in developing the hardware and software have been fixtures at national and regional farm shows for years. I thought it was interesting when World Ag Expo announced its first-ever precision agriculture partner, Topcon Precision Agriculture.

In addition to exhibiting at the February 14-16 show, the company is helping to modernize its property by providing its Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) survey equipment to precisely map nearly all of World Ag Expo's 2.6 million square feet of show grounds.

The new technology has replaced the antiquated method of physically measuring and marking spaces for more than 1,400 exhibitors, a method the show organizers have used since it was founded 45 years ago. With the completion of the project in 2013, all of World Ag Expo’s outdoor exhibit spaces will be marked using GPS.

An estimated 100,000 individuals from 70 countries attend World Ag Expo, held in California’s San Joaquin Valley. They’ll be talking with exhibitors about tree shakers and hay balers, grape harvesters and row-crop tractors. And they’ll be hearing all the ways they can incorporate GPS and other technology into their farming operation.