AP - Effects Of Automatic Milking And Conventional Milking On The Profitability Of Dutch Dairy Farms
The objective of this study was to analyze the profitability of dairy farms using an automatic milking system (AMS) compared with a conventional milking system (CMS) based on real accounting data. In total, 62 farms (31 AMS and 31 CMS) were analyzed for the year 2003, using a case control study. Results of 2003 showed that AMS farms used on average 29% less labor and had € 7,899 lower revenues. CMS farms had € 15,566 more available for rent, depreciation, interest, labour and profit (RDILP) than AMS farms. AMS farms had greater revenues, margin, and gross margin per full time employee, resulting in a substantial (but not statistical significant) greater RDILP per full time employee. Costs for depreciation and interest were larger for AMS farms than for CMS farms. Therefore, farm managers should consider the extra time acquired by automatic milking against extra costs associated with an AMS.
Key words: automatic milking, labour productivity, economics, profitability.