Like weed creep, infestation by varmints intent on spreading disease eating organisms across vast amounts of planted acreage have dessimated huge swaths of America’s farmland. Pesticides, for instance Round Up, generically modified organisms and such, have saved farmers billions of dollars by increasing crop yield with an exponential savings in labor. But a new animal has arrived with the intention of doing farm work that has traditionally been done by imported and illegal labor.
Little notice has been given to the fledgling automation of the agriculture industry; although they have been mechanizing for many years, for instance tree shakers cause fruit, such as apples, peaches and plumbs, to drop into basket type devices where they are harvested, washed, quality controlled, boxed and marketed eliminating the need for manual labor. Strawberry farmers are now using video sensors attached to robots to pick the ripe berry without human interventions. Whole fields are picked in a matter of hours that once took days. Planting seeds by machines has replaced the human hand,
The heady days of Cezar Chavez’s army of Mexican grape pickers is over. As labor demands have increased, farmers have explored new ways of doing things by eliminating what has been previously done by hand. Automation is now doing jobs what were once handled by the immigrant farm hand. Emerging across the landscape robots are now picking the pockets of farm labor while at the same time picking fruits and vegetables as well.
This does not bode well for those with less skills as we enter a new era in food production. This microcosm manifests the new paradigm where high tech will bring forth a revolution in all aspects of human endeavor. Automation has gained traction faster than a speeding bullet, evolving quickly by replacing mundane tasks done by the less skilled. This is a sign of the times where the unemployable will rot in the fields of despair. Look for more revolutions to come as the machine replaces manual labor at a frantic pace.