This month Resource magazine, the official publication of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), published its list of the top 50 innovations in agricultural engineering for 2013. This annual awards contest, called AE50, recognizes “products and technologies deemed to bring clear advancements to the marketplace, such as improved efficiency and user safety, and reduced labor and costs.” Entries are judged by an international panel of agricultural engineers. (Note: Farm Industry News has a similar contest, called FINOvation, but our contest covers a wider scope of products and is judged by our farmer-readers.)
In the early years of AE50, circa 1984, most of the innovations focused on the metal. However, ASABE executive director Darrin Drollinger notes a strong showing of information and electronic technologies among the year’s standouts. “The winning products this year focus heavily on controls, electronics, management systems, advanced machines and input/output monitoring, ” says Drollinger.
Examples of these high-tech winners include New Holland’s Advanced Operator-Control System, Claas’ C-Motion joystick and Cruise Pilot, Dickey-john’s Instalab 700 grain analyzer, John Deere’s Machine Sync and Remote Display Access, and Spectrum Technologies’ WatchDog Cellular Alert and Field Scout GreenIndex.
Many of these same winners also are contenders for farmers’ favorites, announced in our January 2013 “FINOvation Awards” issue.