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The impact of technological change in dairy farming: robotic milking systems and the changing role of the stockperson

Butler, Deborah, Holloway, Lewis and Bear, Christopher 2012. The impact of technological change in dairy farming: robotic milking systems and the changing role of the stockperson. Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England 173 , pp. 1-6.

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Abstract

Automatic Milking Systems (AMS) milk cows any time without the need for a human worker to be present. Cows choose when to be milked and detailed data is recorded by the robot which can be accessed remotely by computer or mobile device meaning farmers can check the health and performance of their herd from a distance. It is claimed that robotic milking improves the working conditions and lifestyle of the dairy farmer, as well as having economic advantages and benefits for cow health and welfare. This paper focuses on the relationship between AMS and the role of the stockperson. Although AMS reduces the need for labour in the milking parlour and in theory creates freedom and flexibility for the farmer, in practice farmers found their work routines changed rather than lessened. Ultimately, the role of the stockperson is still vital in maintaining and improving cow health and welfare when compared to conventional milking routines.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Publisher: Royal Agricultural Society of England
Funders: ESRC
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2019 09:05
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/40704

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