FARM SCENE: Farmers Urged To Consider Y2K Contingency Plans (AP)greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
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FARM SCENE: Farmers urged to consider Y2K contingency plans
BRIAN WITTE, Associated Press Writer
Thursday, October 14, 1999
[Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only]
(10-14) 01:03 EDT MANDAN, N.D. (AP) -- Bill Haag is getting a new computer system at his grain elevator, but ask him about Y2K and his answer is short.
A lot of hype, he says.
``I think they just blow it out worse than it is,'' Haag said. He doesn't think any of his equipment will be affected.
Researchers are not as confident. Those who have studied how the millennium bug could affect farm equipment are urging pork, dairy and grain operations to make contingency plans. And last-minute workshops in the Upper Midwest are planned to spread the word about how to prepare for equipment problems in case the bug bites worse than expected.
Charlotte Meier, executive director of the North Dakota Pork Producers, said she has received no calls about Y2K worries from the state's 750 pork operations.
``At this point, I would say there isn't that much concern,'' she said. ``I think if they know the electricity is going to be running that's all they're concerned about.''
Mike Adelaine, an extension specialist from South Dakota State University, thinks farmers should be concerned about more than that. He has put together an Internet list of Y2K-compliant software commonly used in farm operations and is planning a workshop in November for those who get a late start on preparations.
``Basically, what we're going to do is say: `Hey, folks, be aware of this issue, make some contingency plans and let's see if we can get you through this time period,''' Adelaine said.
Y2K problems could arise from malfunctions in computers that read only the last two digits in a year and mistake 2000 as 1900.
In particular, owners of pork, poultry and dairy operations are being urged to make sure their climate-control devices will not collapse suddenly on New Year's Day.
Producers with livestock feeding or milking systems are encouraged to contact manufacturers to find out how they might be affected. The same goes for producers with any kind of environmental control mechanisms in barns or confined feeding operations.
Producers also should prepare to do farm work manually if automated machinery doesn't work, said Wayne Hansen, who has studied the issue for the University of Minnesota Extension Service.
Electronic scales, moisture testers, grain drying equipment and crop storage ventilation systems used in grain elevators could be affected, he said.
The Y2K bug also could hamper farmers and ranchers who use computers to keep their books.
``We are seeing the medium-size smaller operations that do have the older machines that would need to get up to speed,'' Adelaine said.
Hansen said earlier workshops on Y2K have not drawn many farmers.
``We don't know if it's because they don't think it's a problem or if it's because they feel like they've fixed everything already,'' he said.
He does not believe Y2K will cause the devastating problems, but said there's reason to prepare.
``There will be some problems,'' he said. ``We know that for a fact. It's just a matter of how severe they are.''
The Internet site for making Y2K contingency plans on the farm can be found at
-- Diane J. Squire (email@example.com), October 14, 1999
are you happy now Mr. K?
-- Michael Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 14, 1999.
I'm not sure that everything listed on the list as compliant is fully compliant...
-- Mad Monk (email@example.com), October 14, 1999.