Dairy farmers embrace technology.
Technology is used on all levels of the farm. From the field to the milking parlor, dairy farmers use creative practices to improve life on the farm for their cows.
Milking machine technology
Dairy farmers have milked by machine since the 1920’s. Today, milking machines can track a variety of information about a cow; from the amount of fat and protein in the milk to identifying cows in need of special attention.
Sophisticated nutrient testing and analysis helps dairy farmers plan a menu for their cows that is nutrient-rich and includes the proper amounts of fiber, protein, and fat. Nutrition is important for cows because it leads to healthy and content cows. Healthy cows give high-quality, wholesome and nutritious milk.
Some farms use automatic calf feeders to raise calves. The feeder gives the calf the precise amount of milk for their age and stage of development. It also serves the milk at the right drinking temperature every time. The feeder tracks information on each of the calves, and helps farmers focus their time on calves that need additional attention.
Precise Crop Farming
Dairy farmers use computers and GPS technology for precise crop placement and soil analysis. This information helps farmers apply the right amount of water and manure or fertilizer for high crop yields.
An anaerobic digester is a technology that harnesses energy from manure. This energy can be used to generate electricity for the farm and local community. The remaining nutrients from the manure are used to help grow crops. It’s a renewable fuel you can feel good about.
Dairy farmers continually look for innovative ways to farm while protecting the environment at the same time. Collectively, the U.S. dairy industry has reduced dairy foods’ carbon footprint by 63% since 1944. Today, 9-million cows produce more milk than the 26-million cows did during the 1940’s. (Judith L. Capper, Roger A. Cady, and Dale E. Bauman, Journal of Animal Science. Published online first on March 13, 2009.)