32 votes

Solar storm knocks out farmers' tractor GPS systems during peak planting season

9 comments

  1. [2]
    fefellama
    Link
    Wow that's the most cyberpunk thing I've heard in a while. Reduced crop yields because of inaccurate planting during a solar storm. Sounds straight out of a sci-fi show/novel (or the game Rimworld).

    One chain of John Deere dealerships warned farmers that the accuracy of some of the systems used by tractors are “extremely compromised,” and that farmers who planted crops during periods of inaccuracy are going to face problems when they go to harvest

    Wow that's the most cyberpunk thing I've heard in a while. Reduced crop yields because of inaccurate planting during a solar storm. Sounds straight out of a sci-fi show/novel (or the game Rimworld).

    15 votes
    1. chocobean
      Link Parent
      There's a part of me that feel like real life cyberpunk is just shitty capitalism without the cool esthetics and the freedom of the masses. All high tech and boring monotonous lowlife. More...

      There's a part of me that feel like real life cyberpunk is just shitty capitalism without the cool esthetics and the freedom of the masses. All high tech and boring monotonous lowlife.

      More depressed kids crammed into one apartment working desk jobs in a cubicle farm an open office than Kowloon Walled City.

      But then I remember how bad Kowloon Walled City actually was and it's maybe not too bad.

      3 votes
  2. [2]
    Thallassa
    Link
    Wonder if multiple brands are impacted or just John Deere. Some of my farmer friends say John Deere tractors are crap these days.

    Wonder if multiple brands are impacted or just John Deere. Some of my farmer friends say John Deere tractors are crap these days.

    6 votes
    1. chocobean
      Link Parent
      That'll be hilarious if only their brand was affected. They're the people who made it so their hardware cannot be repaired by farmers who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on them right? The...

      That'll be hilarious if only their brand was affected. They're the people who made it so their hardware cannot be repaired by farmers who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on them right? The ones that Cory Doctorow wrote about where you can remotely lock out?

      1 vote
  3. [4]
    Melvincible
    Link
    What problems would be faced at harvest? If it's just that the tractors gps was down, could they not manually steer the tractor to plant in a row? I don't think I'm fully understanding whatever...

    What problems would be faced at harvest? If it's just that the tractors gps was down, could they not manually steer the tractor to plant in a row? I don't think I'm fully understanding whatever the implications are. I work in ag but it's not on the scale of crops like corn or wheat, and planting is not controlled by robots. Is it just that the tractor will have inaccurate data related to the location of the plant? Is it because it breaks the automation? Seems like a learning opportunity here.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      Given what little I’ve learned about farming from Clarkson’s Farm (highly recommend) there is skill in sowing seeds properly. I suppose the fields affected by the solar storm will have gaps...

      Given what little I’ve learned about farming from Clarkson’s Farm (highly recommend) there is skill in sowing seeds properly. I suppose the fields affected by the solar storm will have gaps without any plants, reducing yields.

      7 votes
      1. chocobean
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Yup, also not a farmer I only play one on my TV, but in Clarkson's Farm, they talked about it a fair bit. When you're first putting seeds down, you're in a giant truck and it's just brown soil as...

        Yup, also not a farmer I only play one on my TV, but in Clarkson's Farm, they talked about it a fair bit.

        When you're first putting seeds down, you're in a giant truck and it's just brown soil as far as the eye can see with no frame of reference and no lines on the ground. Jeremy has been a car host for a very long time but he still ended up planting squiggly lines. They sometimes use another vehicle to draw intentional squiggles to help visually align the actually planting truck. And then there's an art to how to space seeds out so that the harvester, with a different size equipment can efficiently pick up crops without crushing any.

        And all that on Jeremy's 1000 ac farm that he grows multiple kinds of things on. For other even bigger monocrop farms I can see how crucial GPs would be.

        oops I meant to reply to @Melvincible

        2 votes
    2. NaraVara
      Link Parent
      I think it’s more like the lines you planted your crops in might not be perfectly straight, so when you’re harvesting the equipment won’t follow the planting lines.

      I think it’s more like the lines you planted your crops in might not be perfectly straight, so when you’re harvesting the equipment won’t follow the planting lines.

      7 votes
  4. pete_the_paper_boat
    Link
    What about using a compass..? 🧭

    What about using a compass..? 🧭