Farm tour highlights latest technology in dairy – Spectrum News 1

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HILBERT, Wis. — Jodi Ditter of Chilton said the technology used on modern dairy farms never ceases to amaze her.
Ditter owns a smaller dairy farm in Jericho, Wis. She toured a larger one in Hilbert as part of the Fox Valley Technical College’s (FVTC) annual farm tour.
“Robots are going to be the in thing if you want to keep farming,” Ditter said.
She was in one of two groups to tour Pleasant View Dairy. Inside the barn were four Lely robotic milkers with a steady flow of cows walking through at their leisure to be milked.
“We have healthy, happy cows that do what they want to do whenever they want to do it,” said farm owner Janis Sweere.
Sweere said she was glad to show people how technology on the farm has benefited her family. She said life has been easier as she no longer needs to milk the cows herself. Instead, the robots take care of that, allowing Sweere and her team to monitor production from a computer.
FVTC instructor Jeremy Hanson led the tours. He said the machines continue to evolve. Hanson said the milkers at Pleasant View Dairy are some of the most advanced in the industry. They recognize each cow and track how much the cows have already been milked, so they aren’t over-milked. The machines even report the quality of the milk being produced by examining its contents. If there are any issues, the machines send a text to Sweere’s team.
Hanson said all of that means the farm can stay on top of each cow’s health better than ever.
“We have healthier, more productive, more efficient, longer living cows on the farm,” Hanson said.
Ditter said the only reason her family hasn’t invested in robotic milkers is the cost.
“I wish they’d be a little more affordable,” she said. “Any technology these days is quite costly.”
She said if the costs go down, she’d happily purchase machines for her operation.

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