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6. The Future

Where Machines are Going

Well, wherever they are going it could be that they will drive themselves, using GPS (Global Positioning System) maps and electronic sensors. Sounds like an action movie. Nanotechnology is a new field with implications for animal and plant genetics. If the trend toward organics and specialized production continues, we might again prefer labour over capital investments. Instead of herbicides, heat treatment for weeds (resembling a blast of hot air from a blow torch) might be an alternative.

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Agriculture and the Environment:
How Nanomaterials and Nanoparticles Can Benefit These Sectors

No More Putt-Putt?

Table of noise decibal levels


Are Farm Machinery Cooperatives the way of the future?

The Lakeside Machinery Cooperative at Dafoe, SK was formed in 1971, and operates on 6,000 acres of land. It is run by five sons of the original founding members of the Cooperative. The Co-op was first in the area to grow lentils, to practice air-seeding using a 62-foot Flexi-Coil seeder, to deep-band and to try airplane seeding. Now it has diversified into a seed company, Lakeside Seeds.

Cost-benefit analysis of shared machinery in Canada

This section lists the advantages and weaknesses tied to the types of machinery cooperatives experienced in Canada.

Piece by Piece Pooled Production Shared Labor
  • + Greater degree of independence involved in production when individual machines are shared as opposed to entire sets;15
  • + Greater freedom in production decisions for members who have dissimilar production practices and/or do not want to change production practices;16
  • + Avoids scheduling conflicts and ensures that operating costs and revenues are divided in a fair and equitable manner;17
  • + New members gradually build equity in the operation —a member can join the co-operative with a land base and can build equity by having income deducted until the land base and equity contributions are in equal proportions;18
  • + Encourages members to test new options (crops, farm techniques, and equipment) since there is a reduced risk to individual members.19
  • - Loss of independence: members make their production decisions together and must unanimously decide how, what, and where to produce;20
  • + Labor sharing has alleviated the problem of getting reliable replacement help21
  • + "Time savings is another important benefit. Since joining the coop, for example, one member’s land was seeded in four and a half days and harvested in three. When farming independently, the same member required twenty-one days of labor to seed and fifteen days to harvest."22
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