Saturday, May 22, 2010

Deere Diner

It is hard for us to imagine the technology around us until we see it. Facebook has exploded with farmers, neighbors and farm groups.

We had dinner last night at Randy Staeling's Etta Lee's restaurant in Blanchester. A big storm rolled through, the tornado sirens went off and it rains so hard water was boiling back up out of the street gutters. Some got over 2 inches, we had less than one inch.

We could read her Blackberry and see where the storm was and read all the warnings. The storm was splitting south and north. We didn't do that just a year ago.

I saw Factory Farmer posted the picture above in Kitchen Talk. Some farmers with RTK have a diner in their tractor or combine cab now. You eat while techology does the work. It is truly amazing.
"Real-time kinematic (RTK) networks continue to drive adoption of sub-inch machine guidance in major farming areas. Many first-time ag GPS buyers are going directly to high-end RTK systems. RTK systems now provide coverage on millions of acres of U.S. farmland. That area is greater than 2007 planted acreage of all U.S. corn, cotton, peanuts, potatoes, rice, barley and oats.

Many farmers are now realizing the need for GPS implement control to complete the sub-inch RTK guidance package. We are seeing a high level of interest from growers for new implement steering systems.

Customers seem equally interested in both the economic and environmental benefits of precision spray control for both boom switching and rate.

A change to more cab consolidation enables growers at all technical skill levels to expand precision farming practices by providing fast, easy access to GPS guidance and various application controls through a single cab display.

Water management is a growing issue in many countries, including various U.S. growing regions. Accordingly, one of the most promising growth areas for Trimble is water management, in the U.S. and globally — especially in developing nations. Systems with laser and GPS applications are available for drainage and land leveling to improve water utilization as well as crop yields and quality.

Farmers are facing higher production costs. With GPS guidance, payback is easy to understand and calculate. Key savings opportunities are with fuel, inputs, time and labor; more efficient use of existing vehicle fleets; and operating longer hours at critical times. In many areas, growers are substituting investment in GPS automated steering for hard-to-find skilled farm equipment operators."

The reduced wear and tear on the body makes the farmer more productive. The accurate strips, when they work and you know technology does fail sometimes, saves seed, chemicals and makes for a more even crop. It isn't GrandPa's old excuse, " you get more acres with crooked rows."

I am still back in the stone age with the crooked rows but more and more farmers are using technology to get more done in a day and do it better than they did without the technology.
Have you eaten at the Deere Diner yet? I haven't.


  1. If that's what farming is coming to, I'm glad I'm out. More power to those with the patience to persevere, though.

  2. At my age I kinda feel the same way. I am working with a 21 year old though and he wants to go this route so I can't discourage him.

  3. Yeah, it is all fine when it works...

  4. I have the GPS system now mainly to show me if I am overlapping or missing when I spray crops. I still prefer to steer for myself. Just my old fashioned ideas I guess.

  5. I know, we are creatures of habit. Lightbar is a pretty good deal these days.