Mobile apps and big data play a part in the transformation as well.
Self-driving cars are increasingly finding their way onto our roads, with promises of fewer traffic jams and enhanced safety. Farmers have been putting earlier versions of autonomous technology to use for the past two decades to plow fields.
Now, the self-driving tractor is advancing rapidly. Two hands-free guidance systems help the tractor stay on course, while sensor paddles on the wheels detect stalks. Other sensors on the tractor gather data during plowing, which farmers can then monitor through apps on an iPad.
"We actively grow corn and soy beans and raise cattle," said Stacey Pellett, a manager of customer and channel experience for John Deere, who also helps run her family farm. "We've found so many benefits for using the technology."
To see these tractors in action at the John Deere test farm, check out the video below from CNET: