The most remarkable thing about the farm where the Canadian Foodgrains Bank celebration was held was the robotic milking machine for the dairy herd. I had heard of this in the area, but had never seen it in action.
There are disadvantages to this system, especially the cost, but the savings in labour, the increase in comfort for the cows, and the improved monitoring of individual cows are all big advantages. The farmer doesn't even have to be in the barn; the machine will call you if there's a problem. The cows (in most setups) can enter whenever they wish, so the number of times they're milked usually goes up a little, leaving them more comfortable. And the detailed records of each cow means that you can tell immediately if a particular cow is not producing as she usually does, usually a sign of a problem worth checking. The health of the herd can be improved as a result.
I was really impressed with how well this works, and particularly interested in the benefits for the cows themselves. Farming keeps changing!
Monday, August 31, 2015
A couple of weeks ago we went to the annual celebration for the local group that supports the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, held on a big dairy farm a few miles away. There was a great collections of antique (or at least older) tractors, and demonstrations of a robotic milking system.
Sunday, August 30, 2015
After a heavy rain I sometimes head for the garden to try and get pictures of water droplets. These are a few of my attempts from two weeks ago.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
We frequently see Gulls sitting spread out across farm fields, in large widely spaced flocks. We rarely see, though we regularly hear, Ruffed Grouse.
Friday, August 28, 2015
I was shocked this morning to drag myself out of bed just before 7 and discover the sun had not risen! Then I was even more shocked when a few minutes later it did rise, but far to the south of where I had seen it last time (I'm not very good at seeing sunrises during mid-summer when they occur so early). It told me loud and clear that fall is on its way!
Thursday, August 27, 2015
One more post about our paddle around the marsh at the south end of Lake Eugenia. Besides following the Beaver River upstream a little, I wanted to see if we could find the entrance to the Little Beaver River, and a narrow channel that supposedly connected two parts of the marsh.