collecting and commenting on future agriculture

Archive for April 2010

Agri-Tech Catalog: self-propelled sprayer

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Agri-Tech Catalog: self-propelled sprayer

The self-propelled sprayer has an interesting history of advertisement attached to it,  representing one of the most advertised agricultural piece of equipment I have come across (it has some of the most YouTube video coverage…great to watch those arms unfold).  I wonder if that is because there is a lot of competition arising on the mode of pesticide delivery both from pragmatic (as debated on technical forums) and health concerned voices .

Although not directly related to the debate of efficiency or health, I find the device interesting from a spatial point of view…if perhaps modified the vehicle would be a great ‘ceiling machine) ever been under some of those huge trucks? Obviously there will need to be some serious reconsiderations as to what the delivery method of the pesticide will be, but who knows maybe it could be a useful irrigation technique…a raining mobile ceiling.


Written by Matthew

April 26, 2010 at 16:55

Agri-Tech Catalog: snow maker

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Agri-Tech Catalog: snow maker

Written by Matthew

April 26, 2010 at 02:58

Agri-Tech Catalog: rake

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Agri-Tech Catalog: rake

Here is a simple yet fundamental agri-tool, the rake. One of the very first agricultural tools ever employed in order to “harrow” (or lightly cultivate the surface of the soil). This enabled some of the first farmers to plant seeds in areas that were not originally conducive to supporting plant life.

Written by Matthew

April 25, 2010 at 20:05

AV bird deterrent: scary advertisement

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undated DAZON B.V. advertisement

Here is an interesting image I found while researching the “Bird Cannons”:

A real glorified triumph over nature’s pests for the protection of our crops…look how scared the rabbits are!

The image is courtesy: Pérez, Yuste. Handbook of Agriculture. Marcel Dekker Inc. 270 Madison Avenue. New York, NY USA. 2000

Another note on bird-deterrents, some companies/associations are taking are planning to become very precise in their species deterrence strategies, where they want their systems to smartly identify a bird-type and apply an appropriate counter measure.  Sounds a lot like a fusion between Agriculture and Air-Defense! I wonder if there there would be a renewed interest or strengthened effort in cataloging and identifying birds with this direction the industry is thinking about, perhaps a collaborative effort to help overall identification and behaviors? Great bird I.D. site! Again…maybe specific pests can become really useful once we know enough about them.

Written by Matthew

April 25, 2010 at 16:52

Agri-Tech Catalog: AV bird deterrent

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Agri-Tech Catalog: AV bird deterrent

Due to the increasingly “resistant” aerial pests (aka birds) that threaten crops a number of automatic deterrents have been developed over the past 50 years.  One of the most popular is the “Bird Cannon” which creates a small propane based explosion emitting a large scary sound.  Some of the most popular models can be seen at Birdbusters or ZonBirdCannon. However, what this model “The Razzo” does is combine an audio and visual deterrent without positioning the explosion towards the direction of the bird (and potentially kill it) …rather it contains the explosion in an upward direction which doubles as the ‘lift’ for the visual “dummy”.

However, Scare-Cannons as they are sometimes referred to are still controversial especially as suburban developments encroach near farm lands.

Perhaps there are new ways to think of a pest-deterrent that will not scare people at the same time…or even better would be to think about how these devices would not “deter” but rather coordinate or control pests for productive use and become architecturally designed…ever heard of the Persian Pigeon Towers in Isfahan, Iran?

Still, these deterrents make for interesting, dynamic elements in a field that potentially could be exploited for some other reasons.

Written by Matthew

April 25, 2010 at 16:29

Agri-Tech Catalog: tractor

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Agri-Tech Catalog: tractor

After some initial research on Agri-Technologies it became very apparent that the introduction of the tractor marked a huge turning point in the history of Agriculture.   There are some competing opinions about the actual origin of the tractor; I have selected the time at which the “traction engine” became mobile and thus useful as a source of mobile power on the field.

The tractor represents a generic technology capable of increasing a farmers capabilities on the field through numerous add-ons or “implements” (as they are called in the industry).

In the U.S.A. the most popular brand of tractors (ranging from personal backyard work to large scale industrial farming) is John Deere.

Written by Matthew

April 24, 2010 at 19:36

Agri-Tech Catalog – FORMAT

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Here is a first crack at what the Agri-Tech Catalog may look like. The template is a standard Letter (8 1/2″ x 11″) page size so that the catalog can be easily output as a printed reference.

Agri-Tech Catalog: Sample

As noted in my prior post, the classification-tags are important in providing a quick reference for the technology.  However, I find this is labeled more effectively as an attribute taxonomy. This taxonomy is a basic interpretation of the technology about what scale it is used on, what bio-material it is focused on operating on, what action it performs, and how it is interacted with/deployed.

Agri-Tech Catalog: Legend


title – the popular name for the technology

global origin – where the technology was first developed

global deployment – where the technology is being used (dark = used, light = unused or N/A)

invention date – when the technology was invented (in its most recognizable state)

duration of use – how long (or during what period of time) the technology was used

attribute taxonomy – the 4-attribute classification of the technology

attribute index – a comparative reference indicating which attributes define the technology

description – a brief description of what the technology was meant for and how it is being used

annotated drawing – a drawing visually describing how the technology works towards its agri-function, a figure is included for scale reference

tags – a collection of some of the most popular keywords from a Google search of the technology name

reference – the key reference of the research data

Written by Matthew

April 23, 2010 at 21:35