The Useful Duck!

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I go to a seminar

Yesterday I went to a seminar/class/whatever about UAV's. They don't like to call them "Drones." For some reason "Drone," has some negative connotations. Probably similar reasoning discourages one from referring to the "Cloud" as "SkyNet."
I sat next to the Lovely and Gracious Mrs. Muddy Valley who is a happy and positive person. Mr. Muddy Valley declined to attend. He does not realize that moving from a Sunny state to the end of a dirt road in places called "Muddy Valley," or "Gopher Valley," can exacerbate your curmudgeonly characteristics. (I have always heard that exacerbation will make you go blind but now that I looked it up on the net, I discover it just means grumpy.)
I suppose I should give a review of drone school and how much I like the cool technology and just how nervous it makes me after hearing the speakers earnestly tell us when it can do and how of course, there are moral obligations to protect privacy.

I will take out all the fun stuff and bring it down to a couple basic points.
1. Drones could be really cool technology that would allow you to use cameras that tell by analyzing the colors of the plants, when you need to irrigate or spray, and identify problem areas of fields, measure the growth of plants. The data can be analyzed to give you a printout much like a soil test and since it can be tied in to global positioning it can be used with modern variable rate sprayers and planters and tied into yield data and so on.

2. This technology would be cool on a small farm but will actually result in gigantic farms where the "land manager" could never get his, her's, it's feet dirty. I really hope it will result in huge crop failures like the commie collectives but it won't.

3. While Law Enforcement has to have a warrant to spy on you.... I suspect other regulatory agencies do not. Some years ago I reported a field was 8.5 acres and it was was really 6.9 acres. The conservation cops actually hired an airplane to fly up a lonely valley in the foothills of the coast range, they took pictures and measured the field. I was off by 10 percent on my reporting. I explained that I really had no idea of the field size as I just dumped seed in the drill and when it ran out I called it a field, and 8.5 acres sounded like a good number... But, that was not enough. I had to write a letter to the local conservation board or I would have had to give all my government welfare payments back.
You can't tell me that if drones are available for cheap automated flights that they will not be used for code enforcement and if you take a leak behind the tractor you will get a fine for violation of a salmon bearing stream!

4. I don't like winery people any more after hanging out with them for a day than I did before I got to spend a day with their L.L. Bean covered bottoms.

5. Drones are cool, I want one.

I was going to write my whole post about a comment I got on the recent anti-Monday post but I started ranting about drones. Another interesting person from the South found me and I hope joins the blog. I am going to try to give her annual ryegrass growing advice but Orin is the expert and I fear he has abandoned me now that I have no reviews of Porter Wagoner albums.


  1. kinda wondering what the bag limit is gonna be on drones... altho not the amazon drones because that is seriously cool. glad to hear you have a handle on that exacerbation problem.

    1. The Drone guy said not to shoot them. It really hurts his feelings when people shoot at his drones.

  2. Like everything with great potential for good, it will end up being used mostly by the forces of evil (such as government and Monsanto).

    1. Absolutely!
      And It will further the separation between the farmer and his farm.

  3. Replies
    1. Bah Humbug! I'm right with ya, well on my way...

  4. If I had one I'd probably just use it to make more boring farming videos to put on youtube.

  5. GPS devices were an early warning of drones to come for the ag world. I ordered two things on Amazon yesterday. One of them showed up today via UPS ground from Kentucky (to MN). I'm assuming the new Amazon drone delivered it. Amazon Prime members spend twice as much online at Amazon as the non-Prime Amazon customers. I'm going to order some more stuff and watch for the drone.

    1. I drone on and on all the time. Just ask my family... Hows the job search going? You know that nice girl from Ohio with the goats wants to comment on your blog!

  6. If it can deliver several small snowball sized packages with precision, then you'll have to have one.

    1. The FAA won't let you drop things from your drone. The fellow who make a drone sprayer had to do an impact statement on water droplets falling from the sprayer booms. (Turns out it is kind of like rain.)


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