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should robots replace farm labor? or coop?  RSS feed

 
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should robots replace farm labor? like say each farmer grows food like staple crops or livestock in the countryside with robots while the urban places have worker cooperatives or small scale self employment to offset the bad effects of hiring farm workers and paying them dirt? hiring farm workers to pick tomatoes for just $10 an hour for example verses growing the tomatoes in an urban greenhouse worker cooperative and earn$15 to $20 an hour. it seems cooperatives are on the rise. i am trying to figure out what is the best way to have farmers both self employed and worker cooperatives while avoiding contract labor. i like the idea of self employed farming due to it being a lifestyle where you work by yourself on a piece of land that you own and live on whether rural or urban.

here is a link to a coop:

http://www.evgoh.com/feature/green-city-growers/



 
pollinator
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I don't see robots having a place in permaculture food-growing, except possibly in grain production.  Permaculture creates an environment too complex for robots to handle.
 
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Mart Hale
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pollinator
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I am not too sure how you define a robot.
But 5 human driving a harvester/combine/tractor can farm a '1000' acres something that used to take 1000 human farm worker.
I pump can irrigate a 1000 acre farm, that used to take 1000 human with buckets to do it
We already use technology/fossil fuel to cut down on human labor.
So if we can get the pump working with onsite technology solar panel or get the tractor to drive with onsite technology AI or get some type of tomato picking AI hand....idk

To me the technology tractor+pump already fired/replaced 995 out of the 1000 farm workers, and I am happy about it.
Now if some technology AI hand fire the last 5 out of 1000 farm worker. I was already fine with 995 so I am fine with 5
I know this probably makes me a bad guy.

995 out of the 1000 job was already taken from my friends and family and I didn't say anything so if any 5 is taken by AI(answering machine/robot/website/atm/foreigner). I feel like I would be a hypocrite to complain about 5 after celebrating the previous 995 that big corp 'toke away'.
 
pollinator
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They absolutely should, assuming a farm can afford them.

Robots are at work on my families dairy farm and it greatly reduced the amount of calves that have died. Because of the way robots are programmed, the calf only gets the ideal amount of milk replacer, and is not subjected to emotion like humans are. Has anyone who has ever had a bottle-fed-lamb not felt horrible about taking the bottle away from what seems like a hungry lamb? We all know what is good for it is to only give it what it needs, yet we give it more. This leads to the scours that is the leading cause of bottle lamb deaths. It is exactly the same on the dairy farm The robots on our farm do not do that, and the numbers are staggering, close to half as many calves dying.

But here is the best part, no one has been replaced. The robots still need to be tended too. They have needs too, so instead of the calf barn director directly feeding the calves, they "feed" the robots that do a much better job of feeding the calves. In turn more time is caring for sick calves, as well as making sure the barn is clean and bedded down. In short, it allows for more time to be invested in other areas of care. In other words, the calf barn director is doing their job better, not replaced.

But they are not cheap. Easily recouped by the reduced loss of livestock granted, but not cheap.

 
S Bengi
pollinator
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Coop are still going to see CEO getting paid $1,000,000/yr and regular workers making 1/30th of that $33,000/yr.
But at least the 30% profit margin that used to go to owner will go back to the company.
I think most of that money will go to rent/buy automation vs actually hiring more workers or paying the current workers more.
But at least some extra money does end up in the avg workers hand.
 
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Wesley johnsen wrote:should robots replace farm labor?



For romaine lettuce definitely. Robots don't poop in the field.
 
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