Saturday, June 3, 2017

Robots milking cows

Business Insider:

Stensland Family Farms, which sits in the northwest corner of Iowa, has 170 dairy cows, but nobody milks them. Robots do.

Aided by sensors, lasers, and data collection, automated technology is cropping up on dairy farms around the world. The shift offers benefits for farmers who struggle to find workers willing to do the manual labor, and, after the cows adjust, they seem to like the robots better.


Over the next five to seven years, Lely anticipates that about 40% to 50% of US cows will be milked using this type of technology. Right now, the US is at just 2%. In Holland, where the product was developed, Fried estimates that a little over 30% of the cows are already being milked by robots.

According to the National Milk Producers Federation, dairy farms employ 150,000 full-time workers. Although those people don't all milk cows, Lely's estimates suggest a significant number of them could be out of a job a decade from now. That may not be great for the humans who do that work, but Stensland says there’s reason to believe the shift will be better for the bovine animals at the heart of this whole process.

The shift to robotics is really in its infancy. As robots take over dreary work billions in wealth will be created.

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