Dairy farming into the future

It’s a tough world out there for farmers at the moment. And while it may seem impossible to contemplate a time in the future when the pressure may ease up, it’s important that dairy farmers are aware of, and planning for technological development.

A Growing Problem

The world’s population is set to increase rapidly, with numbers expected to top nine billion by 2050 (according to the UN FAO). As such, the UN predicts agricultural consumption is likely to be 60% higher than it has been over the last decade. The challenge for farmers is going to exist in increasing production on existing farms, as the area of new land suitable for agricultural cultivation is somewhat limited.

New technology provides countless opportunities to increase production, and could be a saving grace for both farmers, and the world’s population, in years to come.

 

Robot Takeover

We’ve talked extensively about the use of Dairy Barn Systems in increasing the quality and quantity of milk solid production. Could Dairy Barns coupled with robotic milking systems provide a solution to the productivity problem? 

Robotic milking allows cows to milk when they feel like it, doing away with the need for farmers to milk on schedule twice a day. As a result, farmers can reduce the labour costs per kilogram of milk solids and enjoy increased flexibility.

More than that, automated milking systems are programmed to examine each cow individually, recording information about milk quality, cow health and behaviour, and milking routines. If a problem is recognised during milking, the cow is held and an alert is sent to the farmer. This removes the need for every cow to be checked by hand and flags issues instantly, removing the risk of human error.

Allowing cows the freedom and flexibility to milk when they are ready contributes to the increased overall wellbeing of the herd, leading to increased production.

Removing the need for intensive hands on labour drives efficiency, positively impacting farm operations.

 

  

Sources: 
https://next.ft.com/content/53960dd4-981e-11e5-9228-87e603d47bdc
http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/69445874/worlds-largest-robotic-dairy-barn-produces-happy-high-yielding-cows
http://www.dairyatwork.co.nz/animals/robotic-milking/