Production agriculture is largely a low margin, high volume business. The pressure on producers is ratcheted up even greater when the product is a global commodity such as milk, which is influenced by global agricultural trends.
Farms like the Vanderhyde Dairy are competing in the global marketplace by embracing technology to increase efficiency and lower labor costs. One such technological innovation is the milking carousel.
The carousel can replace the traditional milking parlor in which labor had to milk the cows twice daily. Now, the carousel allows cows to be milked up to three times each day without the same level of manpower that was necessary for the manual milkings that characterize traditional parlors. The greater efficiency and lower labor costs allow diaries such as the Vanderhyde Diary to compete even when milk prices are down.