Wisconsin dairy farmers lean on creativity, innovation

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MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Some Wisconsin dairy farmers are crediting creativity and investments in innovation for their success after seeing hundreds of peers leave the industry last year.

Laura Daniels farms near Dodgeville. Daniels tells WUWM-FM that her farm has been working to determine better breeding choices. She looks at butter-fat and protein in the milk to select cows that make quality cheese.

Fennimore dairy farmer Peter Winch says he bought robotic milkers last year for his 240 cows. Each machine can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but Winch says the milkers give his family a break and reduce his reliance on workers.

Winch says he's testing other features to improve cow comfort and boost milk production.

Dairy scientists are working on an online system to help farmers make smarter management decisions.