dairy automation

Dairy Automation



cool (2) ultra-sound pre-programmed
intake round (2) extract
teat trough respond
flow arrow cooperative
stall pay off automation
lame keep tab disadvantage
spot (2) digestion naked-eye
loop rhythm out of the loop






It’s a bit like Star Wars. The cows have gotten used to it, though: once Juneau shows up, it’s dinner time.

Juneau finds his way by untra-sound. Where he goes and how often, is pre-programmed.

Lisa Russig, Cow Stall Manager: “Our Juneau is just so cool. He brings the feed twelve times a day. He makes his pre-programmed rounds.

And the cows love him!

And that causes them to go to the feed trough to eat, which increases their feed intake. And that’s great for milk production.”

And milking is done by a robot as well. It begins by cleaning the teats. And then the milking unit does it job — extracting up to 60 liters of milk per day per cow.

The robot knows which cow it is thanks to a responder on the animal’s neck.

Lisa: “The blue arrow shows that milk is flowing, and you can see the cow gave 8.4 liters in three minutes.

It’s super!

That’s what we want.”

The stall has been in operation for about a year. It cost the local agricultural cooperative a total of five million euros to build.

That pays off for a herd of 500 cows.

Operations manager, Dagmar Pawolski and her stall manager keep taps on each individual cow.

The automation is not a disadvantage for the cows.

Dagmar Pawolski, Gnaschwitz Agricultural Cooperative: “The program tells me when the animals are inactive, meaning they could be lame, have digestive problems or they’re sick.

I can react right away.

The program spots things I may not notice with the naked eye.”

And a machine shovels out manure — a chore that none of the remaining workers miss doing.

The boss says it’s good for the cows to have fewer people working in the stall.

Dagmar: “The advantage is that people are out of the loop. The cows live in their own rhythm in their groups: they can eat when they want, get milked or lie down — whatever they feel is right.

And humans are out of the picture.”

The cows produce 15,000 liters of milk daily.

Business is good. And last but not least, a robot spreads fresh sand in the cubicles and even gives the cows a welcome shower.

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1. Juneau is a computerized robot. Yes or no? What does it do?

2. Does the robot feeder increase milk production? How does it increase production?

3. The cows give a _lot_ milk. Is this true or false?

4. Is this milking system ten years old, or is it quite new?

5. Through computerization, the manager knows everything about each individual cow. Is this correct or wrong?

6. Is it better that humans are out of the picture in dairy farming? Why is it better?
A. All dairy products come from dairy companies or dairy factories. Yes or no?

B. In the future, every industry will become automated, computerized and robotized. What do you think?

C. Is the automation of dairy farming entirely good, good, in-the-middle, good and bad, most negative or entirely negative? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

D. Are dairy products popular in your city? What are some popular dairy products?

E. What could people and governments do?

F. What other developments may happen in the future?

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