Advances in Agriculture

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Advances in Agriculture

If CRP hadn't come about in the 80's and all that enrolled land would've stayed in production would we still have seen the outstanding advancements in yeilds that have been made?  I understand that in the beginning much of the land put into CRP was marginal and CRP was a form of erosion control but as the program progressed a fair amount of very good land was also enrolled.  By reducing the amount of tilled acres was innovation spurred or would it have happened anyway?

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I think so. In the grand scheme of things CRP acres are minimal.

"The only enemy of guns is rust and politicians."

"The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry."

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"Unarmed helplessness is for sheep and the French."  Ted Nugent

"The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it."
 -Thomas Jefferson

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
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In my option, it had nothing to do with CRP.  But rather the speed of science over the past 20+ years.  If you look beyond crop science, everything has advanced at a very rapid pace.  In addition, the weather cycle has had a big effect on current yields.  The moisture we see today is beyond anything I have see in my life time.  Rain, more than genetics, is the reason you now see corn everywhere.  Yes, new varities have helped, but several other factors.

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gst
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It truly is a global market and influence any more. With a world population expected to double in the next fifty years, demands on food production and agriculture will be significant. I do beleive these advances in production would have happened any way. http://www.deere.com/en_US/ag/online_brochures/furrow/2011/furrow_february2011.html

Here is an issue of the furrow magazine that has an interesting article titled feedin 9 billion on page five. Go to ful screen and you should be able to read it.

There is one quote from the article. "over the next 50 years the worlds farmers must produce more food than they have produced in the past 10,000 years combined."

If one considers it , a challange indeed. Any way it is a good read on this topic with a couple of differing opinions on issues.

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it's all about companies and competition.  If you want to grow your company you better come out with new advancements.

 

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Goosefishmen Said:
In my option, it had nothing to do with CRP.  But rather the speed of science over the past 20+ years.  If you look beyond crop science, everything has advanced at a very rapid pace.  In addition, the weather cycle has had a big effect on current yields.  The moisture we see today is beyond anything I have see in my life time.  Rain, more than genetics, is the reason you now see corn everywhere.  Yes, new varities have helped, but several other factors.

Very astute observation.  As ND rides this cycle downward into a drier portion of our natural cycle, it will be interesting to see where corn survives. 

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain

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Allen Said:

Goosefishmen Said:
In my option, it had nothing to do with CRP.  But rather the speed of science over the past 20+ years.  If you look beyond crop science, everything has advanced at a very rapid pace.  In addition, the weather cycle has had a big effect on current yields.  The moisture we see today is beyond anything I have see in my life time.  Rain, more than genetics, is the reason you now see corn everywhere.  Yes, new varities have helped, but several other factors.

Very astute observation.  As ND rides this cycle downward into a drier portion of our natural cycle, it will be interesting to see where corn survives. 

Oh Allen,  if there is  a drier year it will be a "disaster".

"The only enemy of guns is rust and politicians."

"The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry."

William F. Buckley, Jr.
"Unarmed helplessness is for sheep and the French."  Ted Nugent

"The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it."
 -Thomas Jefferson

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
-Thomas Jefferson

 

 

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when you speak of advances in ag what advances are you talking about? If you mean all the chemical use that is the only differance i see. Till the sh--it out of the land in the fall so it blows all winter and in the spring the ditches get filled with top soil from runoff. then you plant a crop and spray it all summer then kill it with roundup in the fall.
makes no sence to me .

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riverview Said:
when you speak of advances in ag what advances are you talking about?

The dramatically increased yeild potential.

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riverview, that is the most retarded thing i have heard all morning

 

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riverview Said:
when you speak of advances in ag what advances are you talking about? If you mean all the chemical use that is the only differance i see. Till the sh--it out of the land in the fall so it blows all winter and in the spring the ditches get filled with top soil from runoff. then you plant a crop and spray it all summer then kill it with roundup in the fall.
makes no sence to me .

In no way am I a farmer, or even close to any anymore......

Seems to me no-till farming is becoming more popular around the midwest.  I guided 3 different couples this last summer.  All had made the switch to no-till farming, and all were retired/semi-retired (if there is truly such a thing in the farming world).  So at their age newer advancements have made them make drastic changes in their operation which have led to higher yields and decreased operational expenses, thus more income.

Than again, what do I know.  It was only 3 farm families with significant acreage; by no means was it a scientific poll.

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Horsager Said:
If CRP hadn't come about in the 80's and all that enrolled land would've stayed in production would we still have seen the outstanding advancements in yields that have been made?  I understand that in the beginning much of the land put into CRP was marginal and CRP was a form of erosion control but as the program progressed a fair amount of very good land was also enrolled.  By reducing the amount of tilled acres was innovation spurred or would it have happened anyway?

This is one reason CRP is failing.  It was never, ever, ever, ever, ever designed to be a wildlife program.  It was to take out erosion prone acres, acres that were non producing and also played a roll in taking land out of production period to help with markets.

It soon became a program to gain a few bucks on your land instead of renting it out.  When that happened, land that should have never been put in was going in.  Then we as the public and hunting public especially got spoiled with an indirect benefit.  The ag industry is and always will be an important world stabilizer and necessity.  It also is a way to make money and a living.  So out the acres went.  Now we hold our heads complaining it is the bad farmer doing it.  When really, we sat idle for decades knowing the program would eventually go backwards.  In the meantime, we should have been developing a wildlife program that had indirect benefits such as erosion, etc.  But more importantly, one that actually welcomed acres that may have been suitable for farming, etc. 

Anyway, my morning rant.

But to answer your questions, I don't know if CRP has that much of an impact.  It is the world market we now live in.  We feed mouths all around the globe.  Coupled with the epa restrictions, market prices, input costs, etc we simply had to advance the technology.  Just the same we are now able to drill in the Bakken.


 

 

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Allen Said:

Goosefishmen Said:
In my option, it had nothing to do with CRP.  But rather the speed of science over the past 20+ years.  If you look beyond crop science, everything has advanced at a very rapid pace.  In addition, the weather cycle has had a big effect on current yields.  The moisture we see today is beyond anything I have see in my life time.  Rain, more than genetics, is the reason you now see corn everywhere.  Yes, new varieties have helped, but several other factors.

Very astute observation.  As ND rides this cycle downward into a drier portion of our natural cycle, it will be interesting to see where corn survives. 

Hell, I am amazed corn survives where it does out west.  Never before were their corn fields.  Although, some of that has to do with the fact of ethanol and cattle.

I'm waiting for a soybean that doesn't need a bunch of September moisture.


 

 

Kirsch's Outdoor Products | Fargo, ND | 701-261-9017 Garmin GPS Hunting Maps
Liebel's Guide Service | Williston, ND | 701-770-6746 liebelsguideservice.com
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Farnorth
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There are some who have the opinion that the world population has already exceeded the ability to feed it.  That might actually be true RIGHT NOW.

The next step comes from technology.  Transgenic research will unlock the key to the production needed to feed an even larger population.

Here's where it gets sticky for people farming right now.  The people that develop and own that technology will get paid for it.  The result is it will devalue the people who do the work of planting, growing, and harvesting that crop.  Forget about getting paid for doing those things at much more than say 150% of minimum wage. 

Sound bad for farmers?  Not really.  Whoever owns the land for growing crops will get paid well (already happening).  Commodity price swings will be wide.  Even more of your potential profit will be tied up in those decisions.  Volatility produces opportunity and if you miss opportunities you will suffer (already happening).

Finally, your competition is your neighbors (not just across the road either).  It doesn't matter if you are making money.  That's no longer the main factor.  You MUST be MATCHING your neighbors in profitability because you must be able to compete for resources with those around you.  Somebody will always be willing to pay more for land, pay more for the latest technology, pay more for labor to run their ever increasing operation, and develop economies of size that are hard to match.  If you don't have the capital to keep up, you will not survive.  The treadmill keeps moving faster.

Anytime technology starts to be the biggest driving factor, it is the people driving the technology who get rewarded (either funding it or actually developing it).  Our research Universities are bringing in unprecedented levels of research dollars from the private sector.  The result is that the private sector owns that technology.  Know one way that matters?  Fact: the most efficient University in North Dakota is NDSU.  It is NOT EVEN CLOSE.  This is in terms of State dollars spent per student.  The State of North Dakota has gotten a great deal from this.  I'm pretty sure the Legislature has no idea what this means though because they have refused to move anywhere near equity funding.

Downside?  Yeah, much less (not all) of the new technology produced is at low cost to our primary industry.  We don't get to own it.  The research dollars that produced it own the rights.  Think it's no big deal?  Take a look at your input costs the last 10 years and see how much more you are paying in technology driven fees.  The level of dollars invested in the crop in the Spring is at levels that nobody would have believed could happen.  Big risk and we're rapidly moving to a place where simply producing a high crop yield will not even begin to guaranty a decent profit.

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Farnorth,

Yup on many regards.

It is Walmart-nomics.  Sell a lot at a small profit.  Only way you can do that is invest in the technology and farm a lot.  Or be damn lucky to own a lot of quality land and only need to support a family of 2 to 4.


 

 

Kirsch's Outdoor Products | Fargo, ND | 701-261-9017 Garmin GPS Hunting Maps
Liebel's Guide Service | Williston, ND | 701-770-6746 liebelsguideservice.com
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gst
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Farmorth is very correct in his post.

And the food for fuel debate will intensify right alongside the price of oil and groceries.

There was mention of farm subsidies in another thread. It would be interesting if people took a look at what percentage of their disposable income they spent for food 10 years ago, what they are spending today, to compare it to what will be spent 10 years from now. As this govt moves away from a food security policy, it may become more evident what a bargin people were getting.
.
Even just track the increase in this years time frame. It is being suggested food costs will rise 30% this year alone. Multiglobal corporations are slowly gaining more control over agriculture by controling the technologies farnorth talks about as well as the processing. . In the long run, this is likely not in the consumers best interest.

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gst Said:
Farmorth is very correct in his post.

And the food for fuel debate will intensify right alongside the price of oil and groceries.

There was mention of farm subsidies in another thread. It would be interesting if people took a look at what percentage of their disposable income they spent for food 10 years ago, what they are spending today, to compare it to what will be spent 10 years from now. As this govt moves away from a food security policy, it may become more evident what a bargin people were getting.
.
Even just track the increase in this years time frame. It is being suggested food costs will rise 30% this year alone. Multiglobal corporations are slowly gaining more control over agriculture by controling the technologies farnorth talks about as well as the processing. . In the long run, this is likely not in the consumers best interest.

Yeah everybody has a gut reaction (emotion) when they blurb out farm subsidies.  Some truth is spoke on them though with the exploit of the system by some.  But in the overall scheme.  It is a food program.


 

 

Kirsch's Outdoor Products | Fargo, ND | 701-261-9017 Garmin GPS Hunting Maps
Liebel's Guide Service | Williston, ND | 701-770-6746 liebelsguideservice.com
Jig-em-Up Guide Service | Grand Forks, ND | 701-739-9198 jig-em-up-guide-service.com

 

 
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luveyes Said:

riverview Said:
when you speak of advances in ag what advances are you talking about? If you mean all the chemical use that is the only differance i see. Till the sh--it out of the land in the fall so it blows all winter and in the spring the ditches get filled with top soil from runoff. then you plant a crop and spray it all summer then kill it with roundup in the fall.
makes no sence to me .

In no way am I a farmer, or even close to any anymore......

Seems to me no-till farming is becoming more popular around the midwest.  I guided 3 different couples this last summer.  All had made the switch to no-till farming, and all were retired/semi-retired (if there is truly such a thing in the farming world).  So at their age newer advancements have made them make drastic changes in their operation which have led to higher yields and decreased operational expenses, thus more income.

Than again, what do I know.  It was only 3 farm families with significant acreage; by no means was it a scientific poll.

I am talking of the practices in the red river valley. I agree it is much differant west of here.

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riverview Said:

luveyes Said:

riverview Said:
when you speak of advances in ag what advances are you talking about? If you mean all the chemical use that is the only differance i see. Till the sh--it out of the land in the fall so it blows all winter and in the spring the ditches get filled with top soil from runoff. then you plant a crop and spray it all summer then kill it with roundup in the fall.
makes no sence to me .

In no way am I a farmer, or even close to any anymore......

Seems to me no-till farming is becoming more popular around the midwest.  I guided 3 different couples this last summer.  All had made the switch to no-till farming, and all were retired/semi-retired (if there is truly such a thing in the farming world).  So at their age newer advancements have made them make drastic changes in their operation which have led to higher yields and decreased operational expenses, thus more income.

Than again, what do I know.  It was only 3 farm families with significant acreage; by no means was it a scientific poll.

I am talking of the practices in the red river valley. I agree it is much differant west of here.

if they didn't till in the red river valley it would be June before they got a crop in.

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yeah, RR Valley is a total different beast. Erosion is not really an issue from my understanding.

"The only enemy of guns is rust and politicians."

"The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry."

William F. Buckley, Jr.
"Unarmed helplessness is for sheep and the French."  Ted Nugent

"The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it."
 -Thomas Jefferson

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
-Thomas Jefferson

 

 

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3XGutshot Said:
yeah, RR Valley is a total different beast. Erosion is not really an issue from my understanding.

that is one thing i dont understand but erosion doesnt seem to be a issue anymore.

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There isnt enough water in the RRV to cause erosion..  is there?

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Wind is just as big of an erosion factor as water, and in many areas it is probably greater.  The RRV is likely a case of wind being a bigger problem.

One of the reasons the RRV farmers til the soil is because of compaction.  Compacted soils aren't very good for many of their crops.

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain

kid2010
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WOW!  Im gonna go ahead and guess you dont farm and never have even been close to a farm.

kid2010
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sorry, that was a response to riverviews first post.

gst
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Tim Sandstrom Said:

gst Said:
Farmorth is very correct in his post.

And the food for fuel debate will intensify right alongside the price of oil and groceries.

There was mention of farm subsidies in another thread. It would be interesting if people took a look at what percentage of their disposable income they spent for food 10 years ago, what they are spending today, to compare it to what will be spent 10 years from now. As this govt moves away from a food security policy, it may become more evident what a bargin people were getting.
.
Even just track the increase in this years time frame. It is being suggested food costs will rise 30% this year alone. Multiglobal corporations are slowly gaining more control over agriculture by controling the technologies farnorth talks about as well as the processing. . In the long run, this is likely not in the consumers best interest.

Yeah everybody has a gut reaction (emotion) when they blurb out farm subsidies.  Some truth is spoke on them though with the exploit of the system by some.  But in the overall scheme.  It is a food program.

No doubt, like most every govt program there are indeed abuses. But as you said here it is a food security program and as Horsager said in the other thread, even a national security program not a farm welfare program as some suggest.

.

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kid2010 Said:
sorry, that was a response to riverviews first post.

I grew up on a farm still live there and have watched all the shelter belts get tore out, and more ditching than i thought was possable.  the dirt that the water moves in the spring is almost as bad as the dirt that blows most of the winter. As i stated this is in the rrv.
I guess my point is that all the advances have a price that the chemical companys dont know yet.
Why is 99%of the small grains killed with roundup in the fall instead of naturaly cureing?

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The wheat is killed of  so its all ready, we dont have to sit around with our thumbs up are ass's when the weather is good.   its all timeing, you need to get  it off the fields, one rain storm could take 3,4-5 pounds of test weights off, bleach it out, just more discounts, nothing like takin 2 bucks off the top already for low pro.

 

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pness03 Said:
The wheat is killed of  so its all ready, we dont have to sit around with our thumbs up are ass's when the weather is good.   its all timeing, you need to get  it off the fields, one rain storm could take 3,4-5 pounds of test weights off, bleach it out, just more discounts, nothing like takin 2 bucks off the top already for low pro.

Exactly

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riverview Said:

3XGutshot Said:
yeah, RR Valley is a total different beast. Erosion is not really an issue from my understanding.

that is one thing i dont understand but erosion doesnt seem to be a issue anymore.

It will be soon. Hell, go to the west side of any chunk of trees and there will be a 6 foot high hill of dirt all along it. Flat ground, no trees, soil pummeled to dust....its only a matter of time before they start replanting the shelter belt they ripped out 5 years before.

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BringingTheRain Said:

riverview Said:

3XGutshot Said:
yeah, RR Valley is a total different beast. Erosion is not really an issue from my understanding.

that is one thing i dont understand but erosion doesnt seem to be a issue anymore.

It will be soon. Hell, go to the west side of any chunk of trees and there will be a 6 foot high hill of dirt all along it. Flat ground, no trees, soil pummeled to dust....its only a matter of time before they start replanting the shelter belt they ripped out 5 years before.

Had a old timer say , he hated to see the tree rows dissapearing. He thought the young guys forgot about the dirty thirties already. Those trees were planted for a reason.

Not all who wander are lost.

 

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Yes the trees were planted for a reason.  But the birth of no-till farming was created and is utilized almost everywhere now.  Especially in the prairie states.  So the result is the tree rows are no longer needed.  Is it a bad thing to watch a tree row get taken out?  Yes, but those trees never were there in the first place most likely.  There is a reason people say the highest tree in the state is a power pole.

One thing to also note is a lot of the trees put up in tree rows were not wisely chosen regarding species.  Especially west.  Chinese elm are basically a weed.  Most of the tree rows planted that consist of Chinese elm are dying.  They grow fast but they die fast at the same time.

But the biggest reason is farming practices have changed.  You'll most likely always see the retention of tree rows out east.  It is more suitable for growth and retention of trees out there but out west, they will be disappearing and the landscape turning back to what it once was.  Tree-less.


 

 

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farming in the rrv and out west are as differant as night and day

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Yes, ND was originally very treeless. There were no farmers back then either.

Farnorth
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Outside of the RRV, there is a mixture of limited tillage and no-till.  For example, Cavalier County has very little no-till farming.  You will find no-till increasing as you move West.

One thing I see Farmers struggling with is prioritizing.  If you ask them what they enjoy most about farming, the typical answer is the things I loved doing on our farm.  Field work.  Obviously, that needs to be done but, it isn't physical labor anymore.  Heck, with auto-steer and GPS, you're basically a passenger monitoring a machine.  It's becoming almost a non-skilled job.  (FYI, there's a problem here too because finding hired labor to do this is not easy).

Farmers are having to accept the fact that the things they love best about farming are the things they get to do less and less. 

To be successful, you might have to sit at a desk more and more.  That's probably exactly why you didn't go into another line fo work in the first place.  Hate paperwork?  Hate computers?  Don't understand marketing terms like hedging, puts, calls, basis, and complicated marketing strategies?  You ignore these at your peril.  You don't have to be an expert at all of this.  You can hire much of it done but you absolutely have to understand it well enough to MANAGE it ALL.

That's exactly what separates the survivors from the rest.(and it is survival of the fittest).  It's not how hard you work or how many hours you put in.  It's how effective you manage all the moving parts.  ALL of them.  The weakest link is what kills you.  Usually that is something you don't like.  So you put it aside thinking you can make up for it or it will take care of itself.  Doesn't work that way.  In any business.

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Farnorth,

Years ago my dad said farming is no longer a way of life, it is a pure business.  He further explained a business where you fight the unpredictable elements of weather which is your main competition to success is a fool's game.  There was a reason he drove a truck with a bumper sticker that said "Crime Doesn't Pay, Either Does Farming."

Point being, yep, you must evolve.  I can say while some of the older aged farmers out there do not like the technology age many are turning over to the younger generation.  As little as there is of them, that's what is happening.  Most of the younger generation likes or at least accepts the computer age.  But saying it isn't a skilled profession is stepping a bit too far.  Hell, many younger people who are taking over the farm are actually going to get college educations relating to the agriculture industry.  If that isn't a requirement of a skilled profession then I don't know what many who go to college are acquiring?  Furthermore, you are being a business manager, an IT professional, a marketing expert, a foreman or superintendent, an agronomist, an accountant and auditor, and in the end you need to be knowledgeable on farming practices.  I forgot to add a welder, mechanic, etc.  Oh and a gambler.  And if the weather destroys you, you turn into a defender and take advantage of the evil farm programs people are against.  Although, I find it interesting what the Farm Bureau is supporting.  Those of you that hate the farmer and think they are rich prick bastard whiners should maybe read up on what the Farm Bureau is supporting.  I have a feeling it will hurt your grocery bill and then the consumer will start a new age of whining.  Irony may be the word we'll soon use.

Can you tell its Monday?  Ha ha, I didn't even mean to go off like this.  But I did .  And it isn't at you Farnorth, I was just going to comment on the skilled profession comment and I just kept on rolling.  So indirecty, there she be.  I think farming of old wasn't as skilled, it just took hard work and some farming knowledge.  Today, it is far more demanding.


 

 

Kirsch's Outdoor Products | Fargo, ND | 701-261-9017 Garmin GPS Hunting Maps
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Farnorth
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Tim,
I meant the actual part of the job that people enjoy the most (driving the tractors and combines, etc) is becoming a job for unskilled labor.  If you don't like the term unskilled, I can try to think of another one.

An anaology would be to find out how many large construction companies have the owner running a Cat, backhoe, or a crane.  Not many.

It's a trend that many Farmers don't like.

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Tim Sandstrom
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Joined: Monday, July 14, 2003 - 12:00am

Farnorth Said:
Tim,
I meant the actual part of the job that people enjoy the most (driving the tractors and combines, etc) is becoming a job for unskilled labor.  If you don't like the term unskilled, I can try to think of another one.

An analogy would be to find out how many large construction companies have the owner running a Cat, backhoe, or a crane.  Not many.

It's a trend that many Farmers don't like.

I don't know, I know quite a few people that like the GPS and other technology associated with today's equipment.  Helps take a load off of precision planting, input quantities, etc.  As for driving, you still cannot just click on the GPS and let her buck.  You gotta be running the machine just like you did in the old days.  But when you get it dialed in you just hit the switch.  Maybe it is different for those living in flat country and long non-obstacle locations.  But out west, you won't be taking a nap while running the machine.

But I won't lie, driving the equipment is the easiest part of the job and the most enjoyable and always has been.  Really, I think it got more enjoyable with the latest and greatest gadgets.  Do you need an owner of the construction company running the machine?  No, never was that way I guess when I grew up.  A lot of times, however, they did because they would be making the calls on where we'd be going to next, etc.  And really, what else would they do?  Sit on the couch and hire someone else to do it or just not do any work at all?

One thing that is sort of frustrating to people is they cannot work on a lot of their equipment like they use to.  Anymore, it seems unless it is something pretty simple you gotta call in a tech to do the work.  I guess shouldn't be a surprise as it has been this way with our vehicles for quite some time.  I remember as a kid we could tear our TR New Holland apart.  Today, you will not be doing that.  Just like I wouldn't dare tear into my pickup beyond the simple things.

I never got to drive today's equipment.  I drove equipment where I had to sit and listen to the equipment to see if a bearing was going out or something else was about to break.  Those days have definitely changed but driving the equipment has always been the easiest job.  Some were anal like my dad and wanted to drive the straightest and skip the least so he was a dang good "manual" driver.  I was anal that way too.  Today, you don't need that skill but really, it isn't that hard to do in the first place.  Unless you start dozing off...I'm glad I never did that...heh, heh.


 

 

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