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Honored Advisor

Competition no more.......

Visiting with a local JD employee this week, the question came up "will JD produce a no frills, no tech line of equipment at lower cost"?  

We were remembering the expansion of cheap power 50 years back.  There was a Versatile label on the one I drove.  After I bought the big IH mistake that wouldn't lift my planter...... about that time Hesston brought out a tractor from Italy with their paint.  Was great until a round of consolidations took it all away.

Where will alternatives come from this time?  This phase of tech worship is close to dead.  Will there be an alternative this time.  Or do we just run out what we got and garden?

JD guy says "why on earth would Deere compete with itself"  There lies a problem.

Since we have regulated to "save the planet" who is going to produce the next start up in agriculture equipment?

Mom & pops anything has been executed and buried for their capitalistic beliefs.... 

When we build a highly regulated economy that only the multi national villians can afford, who creates, who solves problems?   Will the robot gardeners get here in time?  Will Amazon Farms need some grain storage?  Or a logistics programmer?  Or a market?

Government now says it will spend a wad on clean energy infrastructure...... ????   It will continue to take trillions borrowed to make clean energy look viable,,,,,, dressed in style.

What are we going to do to plant that 150 million acres without a market...... usda promotes...   (yet can't manage a hot  hemp plant )  How do you destroy that 3000 acres of hemp and still qualify for my "no-til, no beef, no gluten, mother earth subsidy I can't live without???  

We can't dance around the Nancy nonsense forever.  It seems to me we got both feet in it.

Could agriculture actually look any worse?

12 Replies
Highlighted
Veteran Advisor

Re: Competition no more.......

I hear a popular talk show host promoting Mahindra.  I do like him, but sorry, I'm not ready to go there yet.  So what are we willing to do without on this no frills, lo tech lower priced alternative?  The plush cab with that boasts the most comfortable seat on the farm?  does anyone know how to steer a tractor and shift gears anymore?  I learned to drive on a Farmall A, H, and M.  Really don't want to go back.  The 4020 Deere still is a good utility, chore tractor.  Maybe if it was our main field tractor it would solve the "BTO problem"?

Highlighted
Honored Advisor

Re: Competition no more.......

In the 80s and early 90s, Iowa State used to report on 1st and 2nd row cultivation progress.  The chemicals still required a cultivation before layby and BTOs were sort of capped at 3,000 acres.  They had the 24 row planter but needed 12 row cultivators and the yahoos with the skills to run them.  Then Roundup Ready came and any idiot that could spray 10 gallon of water per acre would have weedfree fields and the sky was the limit to the acres that a empire builder could control.  Other pesticides have of course come along, but that Roundup Ready era ushered in that "we`ll ain`t gonna be bottlenecked cultivating again!" attitude. 

I`ve always thought John Deere ought to make the 4020 again, I think they cost $7,000 back in the day, today probably $30,000, but I bet they would sell.  A $20/hr shady tree mechanic would have the skills to tear them apart and put them together.  Probably employed more workers building a 4020 in 1969 than a quad-track today, plus none of the 1969 4020 components had "China" "Mexico" "Brazil"  "India" "Turkey" stamped on them.

But that was in the day every town of size had a school full of kids and could support an actual hospital where you could drive 5 miles and have your gall bladder taken out or a baby delivered.  And oh yeah, take a trailer load of hogs to the buying station in that town and still make a living as a full time farmer.

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Highlighted
Honored Advisor

Re: Competition no more.......

The price of every item on the farm is a dilemma.  I need my air vac moving grain.  It's worn out.  Doesn't want to lift grain from down there any more..... Shouldn't have let it sit in the weeds so long or keep it so long without updating.  But this is the dilemma we are dealing with.... Effeciency is everything, and a 150 horsepower job that happens once every 3 years doesn't get a specialized tractor.... and I aint hooking up a deere planter/striptil/graincart/40 ft sweep/36' disc specialist that gets 800 hours of high class tech work per season, to my grain vac to do a 60 hour pto job.

Went and leased an old worn out power supply to put the hours on....... Effeciency is still key.... and those tech savvy mobile offices don't run cheap.  But how many 4020's and how many operators and how many umbrella's will it take to take care of the same acres????    

And the biggest question hidden in there is -------"Can you find that many opperators who can farm with markers and steel weed control?"  Answer is not enough---- Ask your local community college or land grant university if they train students on cultivation techniques, or open station tractor operation, or turning with wheel brakes?   Ours it scared to turn his class loose with a 4020, and the professor never saw a tractor seat in his life.  Agriculture in that local college gardening.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Competition no more.......

Well, there`s the problem farmers shouldn`t have to go to college to learn how to farm or drive a 4020....Bloomberg could show you how for free  Smiley Happy 

If the liberal doom & gloomers are right about sub $3 corn, can we afford the new technology?  We might not afford the Trimble subscription and have to squirt a little WD-40 on the planter markers...maybe trade the 4020 for a Allis 190xt and use the boot money to buy Epley seedcorn  Smiley Happy

50 years ago was the golden era of farming, all the commodities made money and that "inefficiency" supported rural communities.  50 years later one man or woman controls thousands of acres, but as I drive through Iowa I see old farmsteads gone, some are in the process of being buried, some are Beetweeder shacks housing packing plant workers or chicken factory workers.  Drive for a few miles and a really swell house, grain legs and bins and machine sheds, that one BTO married to a prom queen no doubt is operating all the farms that 50 years ago had kids running around the yard and a brand new 4020 pulling a 6 row planter out in the field.

The small town schools are boarded up, cafe gone replaced with a Caseys self serve where you can buy a cup of coffee and donut....and eat it under a "no loitering" sign.   And we wonder why politics have became a blood sport. 

An old reminiscent luddite like me remembers a little of the good days and I can tell you technology and the quest to buy it did our rural communities little overall good. 

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Highlighted
Veteran Advisor

Re: Competition no more.......

JD is competing with itself - has been for a long time.

Those 4k series tractors have bidders at every auction I've gone to.

They'll be around for a very long time.

Highlighted
Veteran Advisor

Re: Competition no more.......

VA if or when the liberal doom and gloom or‘s get back in power I can see chemicals being outlawed we may need the Trimble RTK to guide that tractor pulling the steel down the crop rose it’ll be back to the wheat  fallow here in the arid plains welcome back dustbowl days at least that will help eliminate the burdensome grain  stocks

Highlighted
Senior Advisor

Re: Competition no more.......

Maybe  a  Tesla  farm  show,  although  I  really  don't  know  any  new  generation  ( 18 - 38 ) year  olds  ,  shorting  the  grains ,  to  the  $3  mark  -  -  -

24  row  ,  isn't  a  guarantee  of  $7  corn  -  -  -  

  

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Highlighted
Senior Advisor

Re: Competition no more.......

How  has  horizontal  drilling  (oil ) &   political  chatter (coal ) ,  worked out for those  markets  - ?   

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Highlighted
Honored Advisor

Re: Competition no more.......

I know some otherwise sensible farmers that say "If I had to cultivate again...I`d quit farming!".   I don`t mind cultivating, it`s a skill and relaxing, about like golf or rock climbing.  Some claim you can`t use a rear mount cultivator, I don`t argue with them, but it is a skill, you anticipate a sidehill and "crab" the tractor like you`re landing a plane in a side wind.  It`s a skill and if you don`t have it, you don`t have it. 

I actually think kids these days with their video games like Mario Cart, they would be terrific row cultivators.  Hours of concentration and eye-hand coordination they would have cultivating competitions like they have video competitions now.  All we have to do is make cultivating cool.  

Those +40 yr old farmers that grew up with Roundup and never appreciated the skill of cultivation will never understand, but a new generation might.  But I`d be right in there showing up the kids, until they start really showing me up   Smiley Happy