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(NPR)   Why is this question even being asked? Of course farmers should willingly give their information and data to John Deere and Monsanto; how else will farming be perfected?   (npr.org) divider line 15
    More: Obvious, John Deere, Monsanto, weather predictions, commodity markets, farming, farmers, American Farm Bureau Federation  
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4328 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Jan 2014 at 1:35 AM (47 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
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2014-01-23 01:37:00 AM  
9 votes:
Because corporations having all your data is okay; but the government having all your data is bad somehow.

I don't want ANYBODY having all my data, thanks.
2014-01-23 01:50:01 AM  
5 votes:
Monsanto thinks it can help farmers come up with the perfect prescription of seeds for their soil and weather because the company will have more data than any one farmer can collect or analyze.

I bet it'll be Monsanto GMO seeds, what do you guys think?
2014-01-23 09:03:51 AM  
3 votes:

fusillade762: The things you describe are so far away from the image I have in my head when I think "farming".


That's intentional, not by me but by Big Ag.  When  you think of farming, what they want you to think of is Grandpa sitting on his tractor, straw hat on head, out in the sun, cultivating his corn crop while calves frolic in the pasture next to the peacefully grazing mama cow, a few chickens scratching around in the barnyard and a few hogs lazing in a wallow.

In reality, the big equipment of the day is air-conditioned, heated, has electronic controls many homes would be envious of.  Cows and calves are still out on pasture but the pastures are measured in sections, cow herds in hundreds.  It's a good bet that some of those calves were embryo transplants from cows and bulls deemed genetically superior.

Instead of a few milk cows munching on lush grass, there are dairy herds numbered in the thousands who have never set hoof on pasture - they were raised in a coop until they could be turned into a pen with a hundred other heifers (the bull calves are turned into veal), where they are fed a carefully controlled diet until they are big enough to be artificially inseminated; as soon as they freshen the calf is taken away and they are put in the milking herd where they are milked 3 times a day.  Shortly after that, they are re-inseminated so that they will have another calf by the time their milk supply starts to dwindle.  Average life expectancy of a milk cow out on grass and milked twice a day?  About 12 years.  Average life expectancy of a milk cow in a "modern" dairy farm?  Under 4 years.

Most hogs in the world today see the outside and breathe unfiltered, uncontrolled environment exactly once in their life - when they are travelling by truck from the confinement buildings in which they are raised to the slaughterhouse where they will be turned into "the other white meat."  Their feed is not only carefully mixed for the optimum balance of nutrition, great care is taken to make sure it is ground to the proper micron size for their size and weight.

Chickens are either in battery cages by the hundreds of thousands laying eggs, or they are raised 10,000 to 20,000 in a carefully climate-controlled coop

In places like California and Florida where a lot of the fresh produce comes from, vegetable fields are measured in hundreds of acres - for each vegetable.  Again, massive equipment eliminates the need for most of the labor we associate with farming.

It is true that such technology is what permits the U.S. to produce as much food as we do.  It's not necessarily more economical but it is more efficient labor-wise.

There are still a few of us who farm on a small scale, have livestock lolling around in pastures - I even do my farming with horses.  I sell my produce directly to consumers.  I believe I have a premium product and, fortunately, so do my customers.

Probably another reason you have a picture of small, family farms in your mind is that you would be allowed to visit places like mine.  Industrial Ag complexes?  Not so much.
2014-01-23 04:20:43 AM  
3 votes:

Smackledorfer: fusillade762: Gyrfalcon: Because corporations having all your data is okay; but the government having all your data is bad somehow.

I don't want ANYBODY having all my data, thanks.

The difference being corporations don't have subpoena powers. They can't arrest you and throw you in jail.

Yet.

I am much more concerned with wealth disparity and private control of all the money, land, and food than I am with potential government blackmail and law enforcement overreach, to be honest.

I don't like either, but the U.S. government has less potential to ruin my life and the prosperity of my children. If the government is going to turn into the life destroying nightmare people fear, laws against it will be a weak preventative measure. Education and proper voting will be the best defense. If we give up on the latter we are farked regardless of any present day laws.

Our wealthy overlords have fewer things standing in their way of reducing us all to serfs.

Just my 2¢.


That has been my position all along. If the government were going to go "1984" on us, by the time we noticed, it would be way too late. This is the way they're going to do it: via so-called benign corporations who just want to make things easier for us by monitoring EVERY SINGLE ASPECT OF OUR LIVES and nobody really cares because, as fusillade says, hey, they can't arrest us, so it's all good, right?

But if Monsanto (or Target or Facebook) wants to have me arrested, files a complaint against me, using the information they have so freely obtained because they're not the government and there are no laws against them doing so--who is going to win the battle in court, me or their lawyers? Who can make my life a living hell better, the nonexistent police state or the very much existent corporate state?
2014-01-23 03:39:27 AM  
3 votes:

fusillade762: Gyrfalcon: Because corporations having all your data is okay; but the government having all your data is bad somehow.

I don't want ANYBODY having all my data, thanks.

The difference being corporations don't have subpoena powers. They can't arrest you and throw you in jail.

Yet.


I am much more concerned with wealth disparity and private control of all the money, land, and food than I am with potential government blackmail and law enforcement overreach, to be honest.

I don't like either, but the U.S. government has less potential to ruin my life and the prosperity of my children. If the government is going to turn into the life destroying nightmare people fear, laws against it will be a weak preventative measure. Education and proper voting will be the best defense. If we give up on the latter we are farked regardless of any present day laws.

Our wealthy overlords have fewer things standing in their way of reducing us all to serfs.

Just my 2¢.
2014-01-23 06:06:10 AM  
2 votes:

OscarTamerz: The variation of yield in a single field is fascinating. The next step would be to do soil sampling and see what was causing the variation. If John Deere had an automatic soil sampler to attach to the combine as it harvested and it said the difference correlated with fertilizer levels and/or herbicide levels and they used the maps to increase fertilization or herbicide in the areas that needed it automatically the following spring then that would be a good thing. There's no point in collecting the data and crunching the numbers if you can't do something helpful with the results.
  What well maintained Deere equipment looks like.
[allthemanswers.com image 444x613]


Real time yield monitoring and subsequent fertilizer and seed application already exists.  Tractors with planters can be GPS controlled so that the operator doesn't even have to drive.  Seeding rate, based on soil type, and historical yield information, is varied as the planter drives across the field.  Sprayers change the rate of application for various chemicals based on pest or weed populations.

All of this gives the farmer plenty of time to look at pictures of well maintained Deere equipment on his laptop without ending up with crooked rows.
2014-01-23 02:11:02 AM  
2 votes:

fusillade762: People put thing like this in their cars all the time hoping for a discount

[images.thecarconnection.com image 478x500]

Not sure why this would be any different.


Because Progressive doesn't bring you to court when their doohickey detects that you did something that may have violated their policies.

Monsanto, on the other hand, can and will sue farmers, so giving them even more tools to figure out how to screw farmers for profit seems counterproductive.
2014-01-23 01:59:21 AM  
2 votes:

Gyrfalcon: Because corporations having all your data is okay; but the government having all your data is bad somehow.

I don't want ANYBODY having all my data, thanks.



"If we ever owned the data we own it still, for we never sold it. In the treaty councils the commissioners have claimed that our data had been sold to the government. Suppose a white man should come to me and say, Joseph, I like your data, and I want to buy it. Then he goes to my neighbor and says to him; Joseph's data. I want to buy it, but he refuses to sell. My neighbor answers, Pay me the money and I will sell you Joseph's data. The white man returns to me, and says, Joseph, I have bought your data and you must let me have it. If we sold our data to the government, this is the way it was bought." --Chief Joseph-Nez Perce
2014-01-23 01:40:55 AM  
2 votes:
fark big ag

fark con-agra and adm too
2014-01-23 10:13:26 AM  
1 votes:
img.machinio.com

If it ain't red it stays in the shed.

//Will be my new baby in a couple weeks.
2014-01-23 09:31:54 AM  
1 votes:
It has been good business for a few decades now to plow a good deal with farmers to see a growing success in harvesting.  With many improvements in farming from education, equipment, seeds and overall farming techniques, this move seems reasonable.  These companies get better r&d, and the farmers will get discounts on products.  Of course, this will be helping bigger farming operations, as smaller farmers like my uncle won't likely see anything worth sowing about.

/Agriculturely speaking, my uncle's farm is stuck in the 70's
//even his equipment is about that old
2014-01-23 08:58:47 AM  
1 votes:

fusillade762: The things you describe are so far away from the image I have in my head when I think "farming".


It is kind of strange to think of how technology has advanced again. The auto-steer capability has been out for a while, but they're really honing the GPS part that will map your soils, alter rates on seeding and fertilizer (like he mentioned) and in the end pay for the technology itself within two years (depending on the farm size). When coupled with changing tillage methods, the change in dollars saved can be quite remarkable.

Not everyone has this technology, of course. For just the GPS I think it costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $6-10k depending on the unit, and not sure about the rest. So a lot of farmers, naturally being hesitant to spend cash like that, don't take the risk until their neighbors do and tell them the benefits. And then there's the farmers that don't give a crap about technology anyway and just do it like their parents and grandparents have done things for generations.

But yeah. It's pretty interesting to look over the results when people do it.

/works with farmers and ranchers
2014-01-23 03:57:40 AM  
1 votes:

Pocket Ninja: Well, not Monsanto, obviously. Monsanto is evil. But John Deere makes cool tractors and sells baseball caps. In what universe can you not trust cool tractors and baseball caps?


They nearly put a local tractor dealer out of business by revoking their 'distributor' status, citing 'low' sales during the Recession. Well no shiat, it's a damn recession, farmers aren't usually stupid enough to buy brand new equipment at a time like that. Fortunately the dealer got another company's blessing...

Also FTFA:

"I'm not saying they will," says Thatcher. "Just a concern."

Rest assured, Citizen... they will.
2014-01-23 02:58:37 AM  
1 votes:
The variation of yield in a single field is fascinating. The next step would be to do soil sampling and see what was causing the variation. If John Deere had an automatic soil sampler to attach to the combine as it harvested and it said the difference correlated with fertilizer levels and/or herbicide levels and they used the maps to increase fertilization or herbicide in the areas that needed it automatically the following spring then that would be a good thing. There's no point in collecting the data and crunching the numbers if you can't do something helpful with the results.
  What well maintained Deere equipment looks like.
allthemanswers.com
2014-01-23 01:53:35 AM  
1 votes:
Monsanto is welcome to monitor my toilet.
 
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