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Sarah Taber @SarahTaber_bww
, 8 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
For sure we could figure some out. The thing we gotta remember is Western-style row crops have had a whooooole lot of R&D thrown at them to make them less labor-intensive.
Like. We didn't adopt cotton combines until about 50 years ago. Until then it was still hand-picked by sharecroppers.

So today it's really easy to make an argument that the Western row crop approach is the most labor efficient, bc we have tractors & combines.
But that's such a recent development. And it happened bc of intensive R&D into that one particular way of growing things. Not bc it's inherently more scaleable.
Japan's a fun case study, they've got a land system where most farmers have tiny plots, so they've put a lot into mechanizing tiny rice paddies.
Part of what makes rice paddies so productive is instead of throwing seed onto the field to sprout, they grow seedlings in a nursery bed & transplant them into the field a few weeks later. It means you can squeak one more crop out of the paddy each year.
But hand transplanting rice is FML labor intensive.
So Japan made some v small auto & semiauto rice transplanters.

It's funny, auto rice transplanters were brand new a decade or two ago and it was hard to find good pics. Now when I'm trying to find pics of transplanting rice, it's hard to find pics of people doing it by hand.
So tl;dr there's a way to automate almost everything. It's just a matter of whether it's seen as a viable place to put R&D money, which has a lot to do with the market aka how people think food is supposed to be grown.
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