At least that’s what we call them in my family. You know the kind of thing: “They forgot the whipped cream on my low fat caramel machi-frappe-china-latte.” Or “My cell phone isn’t getting any reception” — the kind of problems we complain about when we don’t have any real problems. These things are not at all like “There is a cholera epidemic in my village” or “I just opened the letter from my doctor and the news is not good.” Anyway, in my case? The autosteer went out on my tractor!
Ugh!!! You know what that means. I actually had to guide the machine down the field, all the while straining to see the faint little line left in the corn stalks by my marker! I know, you’re tearing up about now at my terrible misfortune. The sad thing is – it was really my own fault. I was still using a very old and obsolete model. With no parts available, when it broke down, it was done. I knew it. But I was trying to get one more year out of it. But that was not to be.
So, rather than checking and sending emails and texts, filling out my field records and catching up on the news while my tractor drove itself, I had a bit of time to think about the incredible technologies we are experiencing today in agriculture. Thirty years ago, who would have even dreamed we would have self-steering tractors? Or herbicide and insect resistant seed? Or planters that map out virtually every seed they drop, sending an email report every night with all the details. And who can really imagine all that is to come?
This August 28th at our Groundbreaker Field Day, we’ll be showing 2,4-D resistant soybeans (we are growing about 30 potential lines in small increases this summer). We will have the latest equipment and demos from Precision Planting. We will talk about dicamba resistant soybeans and drought tolerant corn. And we are planning to have an automated drone overhead shooting geo-referenced pictures and sending back live video. None of these technologies existed just five years ago! What will we be looking at five years from now? I can hardly wait!
Thanks to my good friends at Rust Sales, I have a brand new autosteer unit in my tractor and I am ready to get back to a more relaxing method of planting. Hallelujah!
Oh, and if you happen to be in the Prosper area this early summer and see a field of soybeans with really crooked rows, you’ll know it is mine. Stop and check it out, it might be a new variety you will be planting in a couple of years.