Gordon Moore is the co-founder of Intel, which makes computer chips. Back in 1965 he famously predicted that “The number of transistors incorporated in a chip will approximately double every 24 months.”
His so-called Moore’s Law has pretty much held true through the years. It’s allowed computer devices to become cheaper and smaller and to perform an ever-growing number of tasks.
Now, farmers and others in agriculture can take advantage of smartphones and software applications to access information from virtually anywhere. The new technology promises to make agriculturalists more efficient than ever.
Read my cover story on smartphones and apps in the Jan. 30 issue of Agweek.
The weather is about as nice as it gets for this time of year, and area roads are in mostly good driving condition. So there’s every reason to think the annual KMOT Ag Expo, set for Jan. 25-27, in Minot, N.D., will enjoy another successful year.
The show, billed as “the largest indoor agricultural show in the Northern Midwest,” is expected to draw 35,000 people and 360 exhibitors.
I’ll be at the show Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 25-26. It’ll be interesting to visit with area agriculturalists and get a better handle on the 2012 crop outlook.
Hope to see you at the show.
Years ago, when I was still a farm kid, I had the unenviable job of feeding cattle on a bitterly cold January morning. The temperature was about 20 below, and the nasty wind pushed the wind chill to around 50 below. I put on a closet’s worth of clothes, including a T-shirt, a flannel shirt, a sweater, an insulated coverall and a parka. Surely that would keep me warm. But, no, once I got into the open the wind whipped through the layers of clothes and attacked my chest. In a lifetime on the Northern Plains, I’ve never been so cold.
This morning. I visited a ranch in eastern North Dakota for an Agweek story. The wind chill was nowhere near 50 below, but it was definitely cold.
My point? Those of us with office jobs — even those of us who also have memories of battling the cold for extended periods — don’t always realize what winter is like for ranchers and some other folks in agriculture.
It’s no fun trudging from the parking lot into the office in cold weather. Just remember that a lot of agriculturalists have things far worse.
A western Minnesota potato grower has received a top industry award. So has a North Dakota State University scientist
Susie Thompson received the National Potato Council’s Meritorious Service Award recently in Orlando, Fla. She’s an NDSU professor and plant breeder who has released six new commercial varieties in the past six years.
Justin Dagen, owner of Dagen Heritage Farms in Karlstad, Minn, received the 2011 Potato Man of the Year award in Orlando, Fla.
Dagen — who served as the National Potato Council’s 2011 president — was honored for going above and beyond the call of duty in 2011. The U.S. potato industry faced several big issues last year, including a U.S.-Mexican trucking dispute and a proposal to sharply reduce the amount of spuds that can be served in school cafeterias.
The award is presented by The Grower magazine and its sister publication, The Packer, in conjunction with NPC, according to information from the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association in East Grand Forks, Minn.
A speaker at a recent farm show in North Dakota told the following joke, which drew a big laugh.
It’s 2036, and the United States has elected its first female president. She has North Dakota ties, and her parents still live there. She invites them to the inauguration. They offer up several objections — it’s too far to travel, the mother doesn’t have the right clothes to wear — but their daughter eventually persuades them to come.
The inauguration arrives. The parents are in the audience. Their daughter is just about to be sworn in. Her father leans over to a prominent senator and says, “See that woman with her hand on the Bible? Well, she has two brothers who played football for the Bison.”
In case you don’t know, the North Dakota State University Bison football team plays Sam Houston State for the national championship Jan. 7 in Frisco, Texas.