Oh, for Pete’s sake! Maybe I have been listening to too much late-night talk on the AM and satellite radio stations. It has affected my thinking. Paranoia is setting in. For example, my wife’s car has a built-in telephone. She gets e-mails telling her when a tire is low. Really? Does that mean someone could be listening in to our conversation as we are driving? Here is another one. When my GPS is connected to my computer, the computer at the other end asks if it can receive data from my GPS, just for informational purposes, of course. I say “No” to the computer. Where I go, the speed I drive, and whatever else that GPS stores is nobody’s business but mine. When I say “No,” do you think it really believes me? Maybe it sends the information anyway. Now I read this. A major manufacturer of farm equipment has announced the latest innovation in machinery improvement. I do not want to provide any advertising so we will call this manufacturer HYW (as in Has Yellow Wheels).
HYW said it has developed machinery that can communicate with owners and technicians about needed maintenance and service issues such as oil and filter changes. That sounds like a good idea and they said they have taken this ability to communicate a step farther. They can have the machinery communicate with each other. They can have a combine notify the tractor on the grain cart that the combine bin is nearly full. The combine’s monitor will tell the tractor where to go in the field to begin unloading on the go. The combine operator will be able to control the tractor’s speed as the combine is unloading to fill the cart from front to rear. Holy hydrostat, Batman! I believe I can see where this is going. Why do we need anyone driving the grain cart tractor at all? If the combine can tell the tractor where it needs to be and the combine can control the tractor speed, what is stopping it from controlling the tractor on the grain cart altogether. Is this a plot to eliminate farmers because the next step will be to eliminate the combine operator? Any machine that knows about oil and filters can know when it needs fuel. In fact, the combine will decide when it is low on fuel and order it from the fuel supplier. HYW’s machines are going to take over farming. The great HYW is planning on eliminating farmers. Our only job will be hauling diesel fuel. Then before we know it, the machines will be organizing. They will be demanding better quality fuel and none of that cheap oil, either. If we do not change the oil filter fast enough, they will quit until we give in to them and change the oil. Just who is the combine really working for? Is the combine calling in yield data to the government or the seed and fertilizer companies? It is all part of a big plot by HYW to take over farming. Everyone needs to know this. Our only hope is to farm with old ignorant farm equipment. I hope I turned off my GPS. It has blue tooth and can connect with my phone so who knows what can happen when those two are hooked together and no one is looking. Oh, oh, I have got to get up and see. I believe I saw someone looking in my window. A person has to be alert. I am glad I got this word out. I wonder who is on talk radio tonight.
Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.