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   Gold/Mining/EnergyBig Dog's Boom Boom Room


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To: E_K_S who wrote (199287)6/16/2019 10:23:52 PM
From: John Koligman
   of 201485
 
I've read about RIO using 'driverless' trains over the past few years, looks like they just made it official with their entire mining rail network...

smh.com.au

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To: E_K_S who wrote (199296)6/16/2019 11:38:58 PM
From: IC720
2 Recommendations   of 201485
 
FYI

"For those who have not heard about this, China has a serious food problem.

They will have to come to us for help eventually.

This will certainly boost corn and soybean prices.

Farmers have been complaining about low commodity prices for some time now.

This might be the beginning of a bull market in grains. (NTA)



Good article from Yahoo,"

finance.yahoo.com

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To: Winfastorlose who wrote (199289)6/17/2019 12:17:33 AM
From: rsroberto
   of 201485
 
in Brazil, in past years, when it was difficult to sell soy, the gov. increased the mandatory % of biodiesel to be mixed in diesel.

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To: IC720 who wrote (199298)6/17/2019 8:51:28 AM
From: E_K_S
1 Recommendation   of 201485
 
One of my investment themes is an AG basket of stocks. Been buying CTVA the AG spin off from DOW. Probably the best pure play I have found (for value & growth) in the AG sector. I also have a few mico caps that develop seeds using new genetic technologies (Crisper) including SANW (have an alfalfa, Corn, Sunflower,Sorghum) and RKDA (Arcadia Biosciences). Both companies develop seed varieties that are draught tolerant and water salt tolerant so can be used in places w/ marginal production.

These small companies lose money and it takes a lot of money to get a new variety into production. You got to feed the world and these hybrid seeds can increase production and be used on marginal soils. RKDA has ties to UCD (University CA Davis one of the best AG schools in the US) and are developing some 'hemp' varieties and testing those strains in Hawaii. Their hemp improves the soil and other than POT, there are many other uses for hemp (fibres/oil) and it grows like a weed (3 harvest in a year). Animals can eat the siliage and then the fibre left over is used to make fibre (rope, cloth etc).

Keep your eye on India too. Not only are soy beans a big crop but I suspect peas (green & yellow) now being used to make the BYND meat product. These are grown all over the world but India have been growing these legumes for hundreds of years (lentils). Very high in protein.

Feeding your population will trump politics IMO. The US has the technology in seed development to share w/ the world.

Good Investing

EKS

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To: E_K_S who wrote (199300)6/17/2019 8:58:52 AM
From: IC720
2 Recommendations   of 201485
 
You may follow M. Armstrong...

post this today..

"The Fall Army Worm (FAW; Spodoptera frugiperda) is a crop-eating pest that was first detected in China back in January 2019. It has now spread across China’s southern border and currently impacts about 8,500 hectares (127,000 mu) of grain production in Yunnan, Guangxi, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hunan, and Hainan provinces. Officially, Chinese authorities have employed an emergency action plan to monitor and respond to the pest."

armstrongeconomics.com

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To: John Koligman who wrote (199297)6/17/2019 9:09:25 AM
From: E_K_S
   of 201485
 
That is a very interesting article. I had an investment a few years ago in a company that developed driverless tractors. The concept was good but it never really scaled. All the driverless software is controlled by the manufacturer (ie Deere) in a closed system and the company I invested in was using an 'open' platform.

Farmers still have to pay Deere on every software update. They do have some very sophisticated systems that help the farmer monitor what/where they plant in their field, apply fertilizer based on soil type/seed variety, measure/track yield during harvest and many other integrated devices (use of drones and satellite) field data.

This data is now being shared w/ farmers and it is just a matter of time before these systems become more 'open' and smart. There is even a Farm COOP (I track on Youtube in MN)) that is helping their members buy seed directly from the manufacturer and through their consortium may/could help expand/integrate these needed farm services (as a group). There is lots of farm data generated that can be fed into AI programs.

Therefore at some point this 'closed' software system that Deere controls, must open up and that will scale.

Still in the early stages of development, similar to where the PC was in the 90's.

This is true for many sectors but mining and AG seem to be the early adopters.

EKS

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To: E_K_S who wrote (199302)6/17/2019 12:37:59 PM
From: JimisJim
   of 201485
 
My cousin is a John Deere dealer on the side (very rural area) and he's got several "machines" that are all but driverless -- he has someone in them at all times just in case. They are all about GPS signals and Dept. of Ag satellites... literally, my cousin or his "employees" sit and listen to music in air conditioned cabs while the "machine" (they are all specialized now, and fewer plain old tractors are sold now except to the very small farmers) just does it's thing... also gets continuous instant feedback down to the square foot when going over a field spraying fertilizers or herbicides and the computers adjust how much is applied every square foot -- something people were unable to do -- I know some who tried.

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To: JimisJim who wrote (199303)6/17/2019 12:51:10 PM
From: John Koligman
1 Recommendation   of 201485
 
Here ya go, watching Netflix while plowing <ggg>... The farmer cracked me up when he said 'you want an unlimited data plan'..

Farmers Plow Through Netflix While Plowing FieldsLong days of planting are also good for binge-watching ‘The Office’ from comfy tractor cabs

Farmer Aaron Newell in the cab of his tractor on his farm near Fort Dodge, Iowa. RACHEL MUMMEY FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

By
Jacob Bunge

May 10, 2019 1:13 p.m. ET

After kissing his three children good-night this spring, Aaron Newell settled in to binge-watch the “Avengers” movies ahead of the franchise’s new theater release, “Avengers: Endgame.”

Mr. Newell’s home theater—equipped with a stereo sound system and an ergonomically designed chair—sits inside a five-by-five foot soundproofed cab above roughly 30,000 pounds of rumbling machinery, crawling over fields on massive caterpillar tracks.


Best seat in the house

For rural Midwesterners like Mr. Newell, springtime now means two things: Netflix and farm.

“People think I’m crazy, but I look forward to it,” Mr. Newell, 35, said of planting-season hours on his farm that can begin before dawn and stretch past midnight.

Mr. Newell, who plowed through all six seasons of Netflix’s “House of Cards” while tilling his fields near Callender, Iowa, last fall, said he would farm with or without modern conveniences. But glancing over at “The Wolf of Wall Street” or the “Star Wars” series on a cabin-mounted iPad makes long days go by faster, he said. “If it was dead silence for 12 to 13 hours, that might be a different issue.”

Thanks to GPS-enabled guidance systems and high-speed planters, U.S. farmers can plant and harvest fields faster than ever before, often with minimal human involvement. Self-steering tractors and combines free farmers to monitor seeding rates, haggle on the phone over crop sales, watch the weather—and get bored.

Expanding cellular signal coverage and streaming video apps have helped some farmers to convert these mobile offices into after-hours living rooms on wheels, complete with climate control, leather upholstery and built-in refrigerators. In recent years, massage seats have become available.

“I love farming, but when you’re going back and forth on 200 to 300 acres, that’s a lot of going back and forth with not a lot of change of scenery,” said Matt Barnard, 40, who raises corn and soybeans near Foosland, Ill.

With a limited window to sow the year’s crop and thousands of acres to cover, 18-hour days are the springtime norm for many farmers. Moving at 6 to 10 miles an hour, 10 minutes can pass on a big field before farmers have to take the wheel to make a turn.

Mr. Barnard, who last year watched eight seasons of “Shameless,” said he didn’t have a Netflix subscription until he started farming full-time about seven years ago. Since his tractor’s already outfitted with wireless-enabled devices and monitors, he said, “it’s too tempting not to.”


During planting and harvest seasons, farmers can spend 18 hours a day in their tractor and combine cabs. PHOTO:JOHN DEERE

Binge-watching while farming can be tricky. Movies and shows with complex plotlines get hard to follow when farmers have to hit pause to yank out a rock from the soil or refill a planter with seed. Since modern farm machinery often uploads several gigs’ worth of data on seeding and soil conditions to remote servers a day, heavy Hulu and Netflix use can seriously swell farmers’ data bills.

“You want an unlimited data plan,” Mr. Barnard said.

Cinephile farmers acknowledge that their pastime skews toward a younger, more tech-savvy farmer. But they reject the idea that they’re soft. While auto-steering machinery and high-tech planting equipment let them take their hands off the wheel and avoid spending half the day twisting to peer out the rear window, they say they work long hours for weeks at a stretch and do plenty of multitasking from the tractor seat.

Paul Butler, 52, regularly texts and video chats with land owners and farmer friends while he farms corn and soybeans near Macon, Ill. Beyond his farm, he also works as a software development manager, and sometimes joins videoconferences from the field. As the hours wear on, and the weather radio updates become repetitive, Mr. Butler will turn on comedies like Netflix’s “Santa Clarita Diet,” about a real-estate agent who turns into a zombie.

“Looking away for 30 seconds or a minute [in a field] is not like driving down the road, you’re not going to get in an accident,” he said. “Distracted farming is pretty common.”


Paul Butler's screen setup on his tractor. PHOTO: JULIA BUTLER

Tractor and combine manufacturers cater to seatbound farmers, some of whom will pack a half-dozen monitors, tablets and laptops into their cabs to track tractor performance, seeding rates, and field conditions. New models sport multiple power and USB outlets, plus vibration-deadening seats that smooth the ride across bumpy fields. The latest tractors can cost $250,000 or more, while combines can fetch $500,000 and up.

“We have worked very hard to make sure that comfort isn’t a reason a farmer has to stop,” said Deere & Co.’s Deanna Kovar, who oversees operator stations for the tractor maker. But farmers dream of more.

Ms. Kovar said some farmers have requested in-cab microwaves to heat their lunch. Eric Jacobsthal, industrial design manager for farm-equipment company CNH Industrial, said he’s seen coffee makers plugged into in-cab outlets.

Some tractor makers warn farmers against kicking back too much. “We encourage our customers to operate our vehicles in a safe manner, and use our products in a manner that is not distracted and keep their focus on the field in front of them,” said a spokeswoman for Agco Corp., a Georgia-based farm machinery company.

Cory Ritter sometimes puts on “The Office” or “The West Wing” as he farms near Blue Mound, Ill. Often, though, he breaks the monotony of staring at his own fields by watching other farmers tend theirs, via live feeds on Facebook or videos posted to YouTube.

“I want to know how planting progress is going, is their crop under stress, is it looking good,” said Mr. Ritter, 38. Sometimes he watches South American farmers’ feeds to get a read on rival crops, and out of curiosity he browses videos of farmers in far-off places raising rice and potatoes.

The streaming video revolution hasn’t swept every farm.

Don Loeslie, 80, said he was 9 years old when his dad got him started driving a combine on the family’s northwestern Minnesota farm. For decades, Mr. Loeslie said, he was too busy steering and checking the planter behind the tractor to get bored—though when he got his first in-tractor radio about 50 years ago, “we thought we died and went to heaven.”

Since then, Mr. Loeslie said he has come to appreciate self-steering tractors, which use satellite-assisted guidance systems to avoid overlap when planting and spraying crops, helping farmers save money. But he has yet to put on any movies or TV shows.

“I’m still a radio guy,” said Mr. Loeslie, whose tastes lean toward 1950s-era oldies and news. “Sometimes, surprisingly, I just shut it off.”


Aaron Newell’s tricked out tractor. PHOTO: RACHEL MUMMEY FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

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To: IC720 who wrote (199298)6/17/2019 12:52:45 PM
From: rsroberto
   of 201485
 
if in china the coming food crisis is like the article tells, the price of oil will go down.

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To: John Koligman who wrote (199304)6/17/2019 9:17:47 PM
From: JimisJim
   of 201485
 
Yup... what you don't want to ask or even know is how many of those machines are "manned" by kids and or drunks and opioid addicts... <g/ng>

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