Economic opportunities and risks associated with implementing automatic milking technologies in large dairies in CA

RESEARCHERS: Fernanda Ferreira and Daniela Bruno, UC Davis

TIMELINE: January 2020 to December 2021

BACKGROUND: Automatic milking technologies are gaining in popularity in the U.S. While technologies such as box robots have been in use for nearly 30 years in Europe, their use is just gaining momentum in the U.S. along with robotic rotary parlors. The main reasons for their adoption are flexibility and improved efficiency of labor. However, the much higher investment and costs of box robots and robotic rotary parlors must be considered, as it can pose a high risk to the success of the investment, especially in large herds.

OBJECTIVE: To identify risk factors associated with the economic success of implementing box robots and robotic rotary parlors in large dairies, and provide a reliable, scientific-based source of information for producers in California.

INDUSTRY BENEFIT: This project will contribute to a better understanding of the economic risks of investing in this technology and benefits of box robots and robotic rotary parlors on large dairy operations in California.