How Technology is Shaping the Future of Farming

By Rene Thibault

In New England, Vermont is home to roughly 860 dairy farmers.  It’s a $2.2 billion industry powered by the state’s 134,000 cows.  The essence of the dairy farm hasn’t changed, but walking into the farmyard is a much different experience.

On a sunny morning in northern Vermont, young dairy farming brothers Dale and Dylan Nelson, and Dylan’s wife Meg, are busy at work with controller in hand.  With ­­motors whirling, a white-drone lifts into the air.  The trio has dealt with a rainy, wet summer.  The drone is used to monitor their corn fields through a mounted camera.

technology-on-the-farm

Dylan and Meg Nelson 

Farmers across the country are adopting drone technology for multiple uses, from checking the health and growth of their crops, to monitoring cows grazing in a pasture.  Drones allow farmers to get a birds-eye view of their land.

Drones aren’t the only technology you’ll find on the Nelson Boys Dairy Farm in Swanton.  In 2015 the family installed a Green Mountain Power ‘Cow Power’ Methane Digester.  The machine allows the farm to recycle cow manure into renewable energy.  That electricity is sent back into the grid, powering local homes.  The digester also turns that manure into a liquid byproduct used as fertilizer on their fields, and sterile, dried solids are used as bedding for their cows.

Cows are always the focus for the Nelsons, as well any other dairy farmer across the country.  Many farmers house their animals in freestall barns, allowing cows to move about to eat, drink and rest whenever they wish.  Climate controlled fans and curtains keep the barn cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Meg and Dylan chuckle about their phones.  Application alerts pop up about their cows’ health and milk production. The cows wear collars that provide all of the data on cow activity that is fed to the apps.  The two joke they feel “so millennial” relying on their smartphones, but they know the devices are the central hub of the farm.

Technology for Milking 

Happy cows mean more milk.  This mindset fuels everything dairy farmers work to accomplish each day.  For Kelly and Joan Sweet, of Sweet Dairy Farm in Fletcher, Vermont, a few special features keep their cows comfortable. Automatic back-scratchers activate whenever cows walk underneath. Their state-of-the-art barn also has a unique water recycling system which sends 4,000 gallons of recycled water collected on the farm, down the barn-aisles as another barn-cleaning tool.

Maybe most impressive, are the Sweet’s four robotic milking machines housed in the center of the barn.  It’s technology that increases milk production by creating a comfortable, reliable experience for cows. Cows walk into the milking stalls and the machines digitally read a sensor found on a collar around the cows’ necks, which determines how much grain is dropped into a tray, and the machine goes to work.  An automated arm swings out under the cow’s udders, cleans them, and a laser guides suction cups onto the teats.

Many dairy farms grow the feed for their cows.  When you’ve got thousands of acres to get in the ground, grow, and harvest, you need the right tractor.  GPS technology is no longer just for your car, it’s helping farmers accurately cover their fields.  Many modern tractors are driving themselves through that GPS technology, leaving just the turning to the farmer.  This allows the farmer to keep a closer eye on the seeder, or manure applicator they may be towing.

Called Precision Agriculture, this technology and these practices can eliminate human error.  Crops are seeded in even rows and areas are not covered more than once.  It means when farmers need to use manure fertilizer, pesticides or herbicides, the right amounts are applied, and in the right spots.  This precision helps to ensure that nutrients stay on the field, and out of local waterways.

Preparing for Unpredictable Weather Patterns 

Mother Nature is an ever-present force looming over farmers.  It’s a factor they can’t control but always prepare for.

At Copper Hill Farm in Fairfax, Kurt Magnan, a fourth-generation dairy farmer, pulls out his phone and checks the data coming in from his remote weather station.  Located north of the barn, the weather station features wind and rain gauges, and other sensors that record temperature, and humidity. This information is sent to his smartphone.  It allows Magnan to make informed decisions about his work.  The data helps him decide what, and how much manure he should apply to his fields.  Another example of how dairy farmers utilize technology to protect the lands they use and love.

Vermont and New England dairy farmers don’t take days off, they never stop caring for their animals and their lands.  Even though their tools have drastically changes, dairy farmers continue to work effectively and efficiently to produce healthy foods.  With our population slated to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, we’ll need all of our farmers, and their technology.

-Rene Thibault is a public relations and communications specialist for the New England Dairy and Food Council. 

Posted in: Environmental, Vermont
Tags: , , , .

31 Responses to How Technology is Shaping the Future of Farming

  1. Thanks for another great article. Where can anyone get that kind of information written in such a perfect manner? I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the search for such information.

    Server 2016 Consultants

  2. Yahoo tech service is resolved your technical issues and provide the best facilities. Basically our motives you have face no issues i.e. The reason I am trying to providing best service and solve your common issue.
    http://yahoocustomerservice.co/

  3. This is a technology that I would like to be able to use for myself. It’s definitely a cut above the rest and I can not wait until my provider has it. What was your insight I needed to thank you

    Microsoft Server 2016 Repair

  4. Please tell me that youre heading to keep this up! Its so great and so important. I cant wait to read a lot more from you. I just feel like you know so substantially and know how to make people listen to what you might have to say. This blog is just too cool to become missed. Terrific stuff, genuinely. Please, PLEASE keep it up!

    Server 2016 Migration

  5. This is very serious, You’re associate passing qualified author. I actually have signed up along with your feed and in addition can relish finding your personal marvellous write-ups. Incidentally, we’ve shared your net journal in our social networks.

    Server 2016 Consultants

  6. By far essentially the most succinct and also up-to-date information I found about this topic matter. Certain pleased that I stumbled upon your write-up by opportunity. I will likely be signing up on your rss feed so as I’ll receive the newest posts. Enjoy everything right here.

    Server 2016 Migration

  7. Great stuff from you, man. Ive read your stuff before and youre just too awesome. I love what youve got here, love what youre saying and the way you say it. You make it entertaining and you still manage to keep it smart. I cant wait to read more from you. This is really a great blog.

    Server 2016 Support

  8. Great stuff from you, man. Ive read your stuff before and youre just too awesome. I love what youve got here, love what youre saying and the way you say it. You make it entertaining and you still manage to keep it smart. I cant wait to read more from you. This is really a great blog.

    Microsoft Server 2016 Support

  9. Hello I wish to to share a comment here concerning you to definitely be able to inform you just how much i personally Loved this particular study. I have to elope in order to aTurkey Day time Supper but desired to leave ya an easy comment. We preserved you Same goes with be returning subsequent function to read more of yer quality articles. Keep up the quality work.

    Microsoft Server 2016 Repair

  10. This design is incredible! You most certainly know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

    Server 2016 Consultants

  11. The best Yahoo tech support for instant Help with fast way to a genuine person, helpline contact number for Yahoo mail help you 24/7.

  12. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the good work.

    Office 365 Migration

  13. Deanna Friel says:

    Thanks for another great article. Where can anyone get that kind of information written in such a perfect manner? I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the search for such information.Great stuff from you, man. Ive read your stuff before and youre just too awesome. I love what youve got here, love what youre saying and the way you say it.

  14. Yahoo customer care fix your issue like Yahoo login problem, hacked account ,password recovery, forgot password etc. Call us 1-844-755-8737 Toll Free. Customer care specially work for your request and response as soon as possible.

  15. Get Microsoft office 365 support instant, at minimal cost

  16. Fix your issues, related to yahoo mail account, now contact us fix your issues with our technical. support team

  17. If you looking how to forward your yahoo email to another email address account, Now you can check out our blog for steps to forward your email to another email address.

  18. Recover your icloud email password for using your icoud email account. Here are the few steps to recover you can check out here.

  19. When you get any temporary error on your Yahoo! mail account, the only option for user is to wait and let this temporary error get fixed. This is easy with Yahoo as the error will get it fixes automatically, if you wait for up to 12 hours. Yes, this could be from few minutes to 12 hours as the concern of user’s account safety and security

  20. Briefing you about the IFS exam, it is one of the most sought Civil Service Examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission to recruit highly skilled professionals at All India level for the scientific management of its forests. It is also one of the three All India Services – other two being Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

  21. Email signatures are the best way to promote your corporate identity to the sender. The signature can include a general info about yourself or a graphic in an email.

  22. If you are using Comcast Xfinity email account and want to change the password of your email account. Know how to change password and security question for your Xfinity account for both primary and secondary users by following the instructions provided in this guide.

  23. Apple ID is required to access and use various Apple services such as App Store, iTunes Store, iCloud, iBook Store, Apple Music, Apple News, and Podcasts. With an Apple ID and password, you can easily log in to all these Apple services. Click here full steps how to create a new apple id on your iPhone or iPad.

  24. What’s that important part candidates should focus on while preparing for the Joint Entrance Examination Main? It’s JEE Main 2019 exam pattern. Check out the changes that NTA has brought in.

  25. Apart from a large number of various emails prevailing on the web, the Brighthouse is also a rapid email service.

    Read More:- https://www.technicalsupporttollfree.com/brighthouse-customer-support/

  26. At&t Support says:

    There are various advanced email features offered by the ATT webmail. You can create your own account on ATT to get high quality emailing services.

    Read More:- https://www.technicalsupporttollfree.com/att-email/

  27. Optimum Email is one of the best Email service providers which can be utilized to send and receive emails across the world with millions of users.

    Read More:- https://www.email-technical-support.com/email-support/optimum-online-customer-support/

  28. Users of PacBell Email all around the world face one very common problem that is they are unable to log-in or log out from the account.

    For More Details Visit :- https://www.technicalsupporttollfree.com/pacbell-customer-support/

  29. UGC NET December 2018 results will release on 10th January 2019. Read here the steps to download result along with important documents for the UGC NET Dec counselling session.

  30. IIT is going to conduct the JEE Advanced 2019 exam in May. All the candidates who are willing to take the test are advised to check the eligibility criteria and other details here.

  31. HP Envy Printer offline error may be annoying but it has the simplest solution. The error may occur due to network conditions or some other technical problems.
    Once done with care, you will never bump into these sorts of issues. Try restarting your HP Envy printer and computer,
    even router (if you have connected) to get a clear view of what causes your printer to go offline.
    http://www.hp-online-care.com/hp-deskjet-printer-offline.html

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>