Robots take over Barstow family farm in Hadley

By Dave Eisenstadter, Daily Hampshire Gazette
December 15, 2014

After receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars to preserve their seventh generation family farm, the Barstows are using the money to populate it with robots.

While negotiating the sale of the Agricultural Preservation Restriction rights on 123 acres of their dairy farm, the Barstows have installed four Astronaut A4 milking robots. Sold and developed by the Netherlands-based Lely company, the robots sense when the cows are nearby, clean their udders, attach milking nozzles to the teats and extract the milk.

Milking their herd of 220 cows would take five hours twice each day at the farm’s milking parlor, built in 1984. The robots will be able to milk the cows 24 hours a day at the cows’ own leisure. They just walk up and the robot does the rest.

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