Summary and Implications
Automatic Milking Systems (AMS) are milking cows on over 2,500 farms around the world. There are over 150 farms in the US and over 350 in Canada using AMS. AMS has been growing exponentially since 2000. Decreased labor and increased quality of life can override the high investment costs of AMS. AMS increase management ability by collecting individual cow milk production, milk conductivity, milk clarity, cow activity and rumination data. AMS are a high level management system, not just a tool to milk cows. The increased management ability may be more important than the milking technology. The high initial capital input and high management abilities to successfully operate these systems make it imperative that dairy producers and their agri-service providers, especially lenders and bankers, have excellent education and training materials and opportunities. One objective of our ISU Dairy team is to provide the leadership and expertise in delivering and providing these materials and programs. These programs are an addition to a larger very successful ongoing program on risk management for dairy producers deciding on what milking technology best fits their farm and financial future.
Iowa State University
Tranel, Larry F.; Bentley, Jennifer A.; and Schulte, Kristen
"Making Successful Decisions on Robotic Milking Technology,"
Animal Industry Report:
AS 658, ASL R2717.
Available at: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/ans_air/vol658/iss1/49