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Dairy Farm Innovations Yield Big Environmental Benefits

From the parlor to the pasture, numerous advancements in dairy farm management are helping drive up dairy farm efficiency in North America, and that’s helping drive down environmental impact.

Everything starts with animal productivity. The North American dairy industry now requires 930,000 fewer cows to produce the same amount of milk as in 2007. Farm management practices, genetics, and animal care have all paved a major role in this achievement. However, technology is the key enabler to truly unlocking the maximum benefits of each of those practices.

“Over the past 15 years, the industry has gained a better understanding of how to go about managing a dairy animal,” said Chad Huyser, president of Lely North America. “Technology is allowing us to better understand the animal’s genetic potential and how we feed to that potential.”

Technology is also helping dairy farmers better understand how to manage some of the cost drivers around dairy. Advances in nutrient management and precision agriculture technologies are helping optimize the use of resources to more efficiently manage cropland. Sensor-based technologies are helping optimize feed ration quality which has a direct impact on milk yield. Altogether, dairy farmers are able to produce a lot more with a lot less—and that has a direct impact on the environment.

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