The types of ag technology that manufacturers are developing, dealers are selling and farmers are adopting is changing. A combination of factors are contributing to the evolution, including market instability, commercial momentum for increased machine automation and more connectivity with technology.

So how will the priorities of today shape the innovations of the future?

I had the opportunity to chat with Steven Fisher, executive director and senior analyst with UBS Investment Research, who is researching current and future trends in the precision farming business.

One area we touched on was how other industries are influencing ag technology and why consolidation will likely continue among tech developers, particularly as companies try to establish themselves on the ag data side.

I think there's likely a big round of consolidation of some technology companies and part of what I've been thinking is if they're not and some will just continue to pursue their own paths, that could end up being disruptive to some of the major OEMs. So, they need to have a skill set the — legacy companies — in figuring out where the right companies are to put your money. How do you beat out the competition to get those technologies and know the right time to do it.

Fisher adds that different data analytics providers, and connectivity related companies are trying to figure out exactly where they fit in and how they differentiate themselves to be a sustainable player in what is still a narrow slice of the overall ag business.