Apple Magazine

A MINNESOTA ROBOTIC DAIRY SURVIVES AMID TRADE WAR

On a dairy farm in rural Eyota, Minnesota, a day-old calf wobbled up to a robotic feeding stall. An RFID reader scanned the tag clipped to the calf’s ear and measured the amount of milk allotted to the baby as she drank from the feeder.

In just a generation or two, farmers have embraced high-tech advances in their fields and barns.

But those advances led to a sharp increase in production in the midst of a trade war with two of the U.S.’s largest dairy export markets. That has left many American farms awash with excess product with no one to sell it to. But the economy of scale has kept some larger dairy producers afloat. “There’s been a crazy amount of technology added to farming,” said Dana Allen-Tully, a manager and operator of the multigenerational Gar-Lin Dairy Farms Inc. “We can access our cow files on our phone, I can look up a specific cow on my phone, or I can

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