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Veteran Advisor

How Will Ag Robotics Affect You?

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Some believe that most any job can be automatied, and the more repetitious the sooner a machine can take over.  Do you see any jobs that have recently been automated on your farm or ones that  you'd like to see roboticized?

 

I'll be glad when the combine steers itselfr.  I already have auto steer planting.  I'm sure autosteer in beans is pretty easy for newer machines.  Corn maybe not so easy, but certianly possible.

 

How will all the automation affect your work, your succession plan, your employees?  Would you rather hire a person or buy a machine?

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Veteran Advisor

Re: How Will Ag Robotics Affect You?

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I wonder how the shift to robotics will happen?  Is there a way to ease into it so that one can make changes as one can afford them, or will this be a case where only the rich can make the change and the rich will get richer?  

In my case, I know that auto-steer and other automation has made it easier for me to continue farming to an older age than I would have expected.  Will old farmers embrace robotics to stay in the tractor seat longer or will new farmers be the ones who pick up enough acres to make robotics pay?

I wonder if robotics will be an economic way to address weeds that are developing resistance to herbicides.  Maybe a swarm of little robots out there pulling button weeds?  Maybe some more precise application of herbicides so they are more likely to be effective?  Maybe even a little robot with a hoe?  Who knows.

It seems to me likely that smaller, autonomous planters will be the future, not 36 row machines but more 6 row planters that get into all kinds of tight corners and that can handle more precise applicaiton of inputs.

Will UAS (drones) be your step into robotics?  I'm not sure how I see that but maybe.

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Honored Advisor

Re: How Will Ag Robotics Affect You?

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The ante to enter farming has been uped over the years where it`s imposible to get started totally on your own unless a winning lottery ticket was included somewhere at the beginning.  That CIH autonomous tractor at the Farm Progress Show was a eye opener.  It`s hard to get help and help that can competently run machinery, so that will drive alot of this.  When one big neighbor makes the step, it`ll go quickly after that, at first the coffee clatch will laugh at the problems of the first one in the neighborhood, but just like the wondering "who`ll sit up with the piging sow" was answered and the pork industry was changed forever, so too will the self driving machinery.  They`ll need some yahoos to move the machinery and set it up in the field, but after that just flip the switch and 24hrs later the field is planted and a text msg will tell you it`s time to move to a new field.

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Honored Advisor

Re: How Will Ag Robotics Affect You?

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and a second day message that says "I called the technician, the seed tube on row 3 is plugged,,, inopperable until repairs are made by a qualified technician."

Third day on the back 80..........."small rabit detected in path, requires release from Fish and Game required......enter release document file number"

 

Fourth day............. "Stopped...... enter latest code form liability insurance reciept to resume usage"

 

etc etc etc 

 

 

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Honored Advisor

Re: How Will Ag Robotics Affect You?

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This is a great topic and I did not intend to demean it...

 

The struggles with the subject can cause calluses.  Let me draw a picture.  

Eight young men in a field harvesting corn.  Some on Grain Carts, some on combines, some on trucks.

In a field making 180+ bushel per acre, it is a rather large sewing machine in constant motion and well oiled....through technology...

Move that crew to a field making 140 bpa...

Now one is watching cubs highlights, two are into a music concert(of those two one is sleeping), one is visually conversing with his girlfriend in eastern europe(while operating a combine), no one is where they need to be and the trucks are sitting while drivers listen to mozart and read on ag.com.... Effeciency gone......... through technology...

 

That was yesterday.... A long corn harvest is over and we are on to the next crop....

 

In the middle of the misery of low yields and shrink toasted, low quality corn, I brought up the subject of robotic equipment to this group of young harvesters....  Everyone sees the plus side in effeciency and nearly everyone talked about the continual small decisions that are made in the field...Yet everyone is into technology enough to see that "it can and will happen".....

 

And of course I got asked....... How will it affect US......   and  How has the US changed in your lifetime.....??  

That is when you know your getting old....

But it is an onward progression of change...and robotics just seems like the most likely next step....  

Human endeavor is a conglomerate of imperfection.  Quality is only noticed by the imperfections that surround it... 

Lip service to the poor and less educated.  We are marching onward to technology and robotics because it will enhance the lives of some and seperate the rich from the poor...

A theme that has played out over and over through the centuries...  Technology creates the ability for the rich to expand without the poor....     It is a human nature thing........ because naturally if you are rich you must be smarter........ Right??  

I know this because I read magazines who feature the biggest and the best....who can afford to be the biggest and the best......

 

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