A stupid question generated from another thread:I personaly think that a lot of it has to do with habit and not wanting to work after 6 pm.
Why DO farmers need to get up pre-dawn to milk cows or whatever? If you milk a cow twice a day, why can't you do it at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.?
I understand that a lot of work needs to be done and you don't want to waste daylight but it has never made sense to me that cows "need" to be milked at 4:30 a.m. Sleep cow, sleep.
Anyway, on a modern big dairy farm nobody has to get up to milk the cows anymore, it is fully automated. The cows just regularly walk into the milking machine, and the rest goes automaticaly, the farmer just has to have a beeper with him that warns him when something goes wrong with the machine.
I always thought that farmers had to do milking very early in the morning because of the milk train.
This would come by early in the day and transport fresh milk to cities and towns. Unlike a planted crop, the milk train was a consistent source of income for the farm.
Was I wrong in this?
No, you're not wrong. But that is a little outdated. Nowadays, it's due to other scheduling. Someone upthread mentioned the schedule of the trucks that pick up the raw milk at the farms.
In my grandparents' and other family members' cases, they would deliver the milk to a local creamery. For some reason, it had to be there by a certain time. I believe it corresponded to when the creamery started a day's production.
It's all the same concept. The milking of the cows is the first step in the process of getting the product to the consumers. When one part of the process is off schedule, it messes with the whole system.