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Thanks to Trump, more US milk will be coming from robots

Image: US Department of Agriculture, k11662-1, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Tougher immigration laws, the rising cost of labour and cheap credit could encourage dairy farms to use more robots, according to this article in Bloomberg.

It’s predicted that the number of dairy farms using robots could increase by 20-30% each year for the foreseeable future.

More than half of dairy farm workers are immigrants. With the Trump administration’s tough stance on immigration, some undocumented workers are afraid of being arrested. Farmers can face jail time if they hire undocumented workers. Dairy robots, although still expensive, offer farmers greater certainty over running costs.

Some types of dairy robots let cows walk up to the machine to be milked whenever they want. With less interaction with humans, cow herds start to show more natural behaviour. One owner of an automated dairy farm claims that the milk is higher quality because the cows are calmer.

For more details, see the article here.

See also the Foodsource building block What is animal welfare?

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North America

North America is the northern subcontinent of the Americas covering about 16.5% of the Earth's land area. This large continent has a range of climates spanning Greenland’s permanent ice sheet and the dry deserts of Arizona. Both Canada and the USA are major food producers and some of the largest food exporters in the world. Industrial farms are the norm in North America, with high yields relative to other regions and only 2% of the population involved in agriculture.

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