High-tech Floating Farm employs robots to milk the cows

Weblog: Dutch agricultural start-up on water could be the future of sustainable farming

Perhaps we should be looking to Floating Farm in Schiedam, the Netherlands, for the future of high-tech, sustainable and environmentally responsible farming. This agricultural start-up is docked in a harbour and houses 32 cows (they are not always on water and regularly visit a nearby pasture via ramp).

Floating Farm is also planning more builds for both chicken farming and vegetables

The cows are milked and fed by various robots while others are employed as Roombas, of a sort, but for cow poop. All of this is controlled through an app by employees of founder Minke van Wingerden. All of the milk is processed on board and sold to local residents.

Meanwhile, most of the water needed by the cows is collected via the structure’s roof when it rains, and power comes from nearby floating solar panels. Even the cows’ urine is put to good use and recycled as fertiliser. The urban aspect of sustainability relates to the cows’ food sources: grass clippings, potato peels and brewer’s grains are converted into an edible protein.

Floating Farm is also planning more builds for both chicken farming and vegetables. The idea is to provide self-sufficient and sustainable food sources as water levels rise due to climate change. It’s far from a gimmick: if the urgency of climate action isn’t realised at COP25, this will likely be where much of our food comes from in the future.