Everything is supposed to be bigger in Texas, right? And there was no shortage of large ag equipment on display throughout the aisles at Commodity Classic in San Antonio this year.

But there was a noticeably more minimalist vibe in many of the precision farming — and even a few farm equipment manufacturer booths — with emphasis on platforms more reliant on mobile apps and data connectivity than taking up real estate in a tractor cab.

As one precision company representative noted, “It’s refreshing to talk more about interoperability and smart connected platforms than screen size of in-cab displays.”

With companies jockeying to provide integrated and user-friendly platforms that simplify the collection, transfer and application of field data, farmers have some tough decisions to make on what system makes the most sense for their operation.

Utilizing on-farm trials and benchmarking can tell compelling ROI stories to help answer the “but will that work on my farm?” question that manufacturers say is commonly asked.

Ultimately, the adoption and success of any new platform is only as good as the support behind it. Companies acknowledge this and customers expect it. Visiting with one Illinois farmer at the show, our conversation covered, among other things, brand diversity and drawing the line between self-diagnosing precision problems and when to call in reinforcements.

This farmer’s equipment fleet includes machinery from nearly every major manufacturer and he relies on at least 4 area dealerships for service. Telematic support has become a growing part of maintaining uptime in the field.

“When I’m planting, so are a lot of other guys in my area, and there’s only so many techs to go around,” he says. “In that moment in time, it’s not about the size of monitor I have in the cab or even the latest software update I purchased. It’s about getting to a solution as fast as possible.”