Saturday, August 13, 2011

Market Innovation vs. Government Regulation

The world's first autonomous crop planter.Will it need a commercial driver's license from the government?


1. Amazing market-based innovation that could increase farm productivity, reduce production costs, and lower costs to consumers.

WILLIAMSBURG, Iowa (Aug 10, 2011) – "Kinze Manufacturing gave the agriculture industry a glimpse into the future today with the unveiling of its precision planting technology – an autonomous planter that operates without an operator in the tractor cab. The Kinze Autonomy Project, the first of its kind in row crop production worldwide, utilizes autonomous agricultural equipment to complete many tasks on the farm with minimal direct human input.

“We are proud to offer the first truly autonomous row crop solution on this scale in the world,” said Susanne Kinzenbaw Veatch, vice president and chief marketing officer at Kinze. “Knowing how important it is to get crops into the ground during the short planting window, we’re excited to offer this system to help growers be productive and make the most of their harvest.”

The Kinze Autonomy Project is designed to reduce the need for skilled operators by taking the human element out of the tractor cab. Kinze plans to market this technology to help growers increase their productivity by allowing them to focus their time and attention elsewhere while performing cursory monitoring of the Kinze autonomous equipment.

To begin, the grower loads a field map into the global positioning system including field boundaries and any predesigned non-field areas such as waterways. After the grower takes the tractor to the field and identifies which field it is positioned in, the system generates the most efficient method to plant the field. At that point, the system then positions the tractor and planter at a designated starting point and begins planting - see video above."

2. A not-so-amazing proposed government intervention that will decrease farm productivity, increase costs of production, and raise consumer prices.   

Milwaukee --"Wisconsin dairy farmer Tim Strobel has been driving a tractor for 20 years, so he's a bit puzzled that federal officials are kicking around an idea that could ultimately force him - and anyone else operating farm machinery - to get a commercial driver's license. Yes, the same kind of license that interstate truckers must have to operate their rigs.

"I am not against some training, but this is going a little bit overboard," said Strobel. It's "overreaching and unnecessary," said Karen Gefvert, Wisconsin Farm Bureau director of governmental relations.

The additional public safety gained from increased federal regulation is unclear at best, but the additional costs for farmers would come at a time when they could least afford them, Brancel said in a letter to federal officials.  In one scenario, farmers hauling grain to local elevators would be treated as if they were engaged in interstate commerce because grain, in many cases, eventually leaves the state."

HT: Wally Block via Tim Taylor

7 Comments:

At 8/13/2011 9:12 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

If you look at the size of that tractor and then imagine equipment that size using public roads - whereas earlier tractors were much smaller (and less productive) - you realize that operating a "tractor" on the pubic roads is not the same as operating a very large piece of farm equipment on the public roads.

the proposed regulation explained "..."In a perfect world, farm vehicles would only operate on farms, while commercial trucks would operate on public roads,"

"The reality is that farm equipment not designed or intended for everyday use on public roads is often used for short trips at limited speeds. This creates a gray area for classification"

the basic rule for a CDL is that if you are going to operate large equipment on a public road that you need to demonstrate that you are capable of operating it in a way that does not endanger others.

Some modern farm equipment now days is huge - can even dwarf a large truck and actually can hang over into the opposite lane even after it has moved right on the shoulder..

this is an example of regulation that does cost money and IS imposed by the govt.

and yes.. it MORE regulation... but then farm vehicles themselves have morphed into much larger critters than they used to be.

What we're recognizing now is that some of the ways that farming itself is becoming more and more productive is not only with "autonomous" equipment but also much larger equipment that can plow/etc such large amounts of land that it needs to use the public roads to get to the parcels of land.

but I have a solution.

Autonomous tractors that are also capable of driving on public roads has no no operator!

Voila! Presto Changeo. No CDL required....

No CDL required.. No human operator required... just code in the fields that need to be plowed and let that sucker do it's thing.

so you see.. regulation actually drives productivity..... :-)

 
At 8/13/2011 9:12 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

If you look at the size of that tractor and then imagine equipment that size using public roads - whereas earlier tractors were much smaller (and less productive) - you realize that operating a "tractor" on the pubic roads is not the same as operating a very large piece of farm equipment on the public roads.

the proposed regulation explained "..."In a perfect world, farm vehicles would only operate on farms, while commercial trucks would operate on public roads,"

"The reality is that farm equipment not designed or intended for everyday use on public roads is often used for short trips at limited speeds. This creates a gray area for classification"

the basic rule for a CDL is that if you are going to operate large equipment on a public road that you need to demonstrate that you are capable of operating it in a way that does not endanger others.

Some modern farm equipment now days is huge - can even dwarf a large truck and actually can hang over into the opposite lane even after it has moved right on the shoulder..

this is an example of regulation that does cost money and IS imposed by the govt.

and yes.. it MORE regulation... but then farm vehicles themselves have morphed into much larger critters than they used to be.

What we're recognizing now is that some of the ways that farming itself is becoming more and more productive is not only with "autonomous" equipment but also much larger equipment that can plow/etc such large amounts of land that it needs to use the public roads to get to the parcels of land.

but I have a solution.

Autonomous tractors that are also capable of driving on public roads has no no operator!

Voila! Presto Changeo. No CDL required....

No CDL required.. No human operator required... just code in the fields that need to be plowed and let that sucker do it's thing.

so you see.. regulation actually drives productivity..... :-)

 
At 8/13/2011 10:59 PM, Blogger Jim said...

I can just imagine a federal inspector stopping a 12 year old driving a hay wagon a mile down the road to the nearest lane and asking for his commercial license.

Honestly, these people have too little to do and our propensity to over-build everything is endless.

At least the profit motive periodically forces down sizing. The government, not so much.

 
At 8/14/2011 8:47 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

well there's another alternative - they can do what they do with the interstates - just ban vehicles that are considered incompatible and require all vehicles to maintain a speed of at least 40mph. ....

...or they could do what they do with other oversized equipment - require a permit and a flag escort.

perhaps the CDL is the least onerous path, eh?

certainly better than just outlawing the equipment...like is done on other road, eh?

 
At 8/15/2011 4:21 AM, Blogger Ian Random said...

This will never work, who will cash the subsidy check? The computer?

 
At 8/15/2011 1:13 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"This will never work, who will cash the subsidy check? The computer?"

Well, the tractor, of course. If a system can be designed to plow a field without human intervention, surely only slight modification is necessary to allow it to endorse a check.

 
At 8/18/2011 4:53 AM, Blogger harvest said...

Hey thank you for a big paragraph on Haying Equipment which is very necessary for farmers

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home