Industrial Agriculture Gets Even More Industrial

iStock_000018219620_Small.jpgFarmers, academics, animal rights activists and cows seem to agree: robots are the future. With milk in high demand, dairy farmers are working on ways to boost productivity, and given that they have a sure market, they are investing big money into their wildest childhood dreams -- a robot that does the work for them. Now, we are in no way implying that these farmers are not doing their fair share of the work, but as Jesse McKinley explains in this New York Times article, these automated systems allow for a lot more flexibility from the farmer and the cow. McKinley writes:

It just clicked,” said Susan Borden, Tom Borden’s 24-year-old daughter. “One day we came in and they had started milking themselves.”

Sure enough, on a recent Friday, the Bordens stood watch as cows lined up in front of the closet-size devices; each quietly allowed the machine to wash and scan its underbelly with lasers before attaching mechanical milk cups.

The cows ate the whole time, then moved along when the machine was finished. Nearby, another new device, a Roomba-style robot, pushed feed toward cows who lounged in a pen or lay on straw mats.

Check out the article and make sure to watch the video. 



Read all articles by Damon Cory-Watson


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