Several years ago I was sent to repair the hydraulic system on a planter owned by a customer I'd never met before, and haven't seen since that day. So I really don't know much about him or his farming situation.
Anyway, I diagnosed and fixed the hydraulic problem. During the process I noticed the planter was outfitted with what was obviously a near-new high-tech hydraulic row-unit downforce control system as well as remote-control adjustable row cleaners on each row. When I crawled into the cab to test my repairs, it was crammed with monitors, computerized displays, and a variety of laptop computers. Pretty sophisticated stuff.
During the repairs I couldn't help but notice that the 20-year-old planter was missing gauge wheels on two of the rows, missing closing wheels on three rows, and that the edges of the disk openers had that thin but blunted look indicating extreme wear. I could see daylight between the disk openers and the edges of the gauge wheels on many of the rows.
I'm sorry, but as I drove away, the phrase, "Putting lipstick on a pig," came to mind.