Modern dairy farming is more than collecting milk, and today’s farming technology reflects that. Today’s technology helps dairy farmers efficiently run their farms and control resources in the name of sustainability, driving agriculture toward the next generation. Through technology, we are gaining facts about dairy cows.
So why are technology and sustainable farming so important? If you ask Tennessee dairy farmer Sam Craun, her answer is one all farmers can agree on. “When I think of sustainable farming, I think of being able to give something to the next generation.”
So how do farmers make their farms sustainable for the next generation?
Davis Brothers Dairy, like other farms, has incorporated technology into its operations. In addition to helping with the labor required in day-to-day duties, the technology helps farmers efficiently use their resources and better individualize cow care according to each animal’s needs.
Facts About Dairy Cows
Data is important to cow care. Fitbit-like health trackers worn around cows’ necks send updates about the daily activities of individuals in herds. This information collected from the collar combined with other data-collecting systems like automated feeding and milking helps monitor animal health. Tracking milk yields, feeding habits, and the daily exercise of each cow provide individualized data that can be used in the early detection of changes in routine that may relate to their health or comfort.
A nutrient management plan reduces crops used for feed, helping farmers optimize their crop use and land requirements. The plan also recycles manure as fertilizer. Manure has a surprising amount of uses on the farm, including creating power on some farms.
And keeping the herd comfortable is another necessity. To maintain the cooler temperatures cows prefer, misters, fans, and sand bedding made from the manure separator are used in barns to fight off the Southeast’s notoriously humid heat. Like other tech on the farm, these inclusions keep the cows happy, healthy, and productive
Farmers work hard 365 days a year so you can enjoy affordable, safe, and nutritious meals, continuously striving to make their production more sustainable, too. Farmers like Sam will continue to find new solutions that will help her family continue to provide for this generation, the next generation, the generation after that, and so on.
Learn more about the practices on dairy farms like Sam’s at our Sustainability and the Dairy Industry page.