Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
The increasing adoption of automatic milking systems (AMS) in the U.S. has caused interest in determining if they are truly beneficial to the farmers who install them. The focus in this study is to identify the monetary value of AMS for dairies in the Rocky Mountain region and the estimated value of the non-monetary benefits. Using a mixed methods approach to create a survey; information was gathered from farmers in the Rocky Mountain region who are using AMS. The results reveal that monetary benefits from production and labor savings are lacking in themselves to provide positive net present values (NPVs) for the farms that install AMS. It is concluded that labor flexibility, reduction of labor risk, animal welfare, and increased cow information contribute enough value to compensate the negative NPVs. It is difficult to determine actual numbers or ratios of these other benefits as it will differ between farmers. Yet it appears that results support the idea that farmers do put value in these areas based on the responses from the surveys.
Nelson, Garret, "The Impact of Robotic Milking Systems: The Case of the Rocky Mountain Region" (2020). All Graduate Plan B and other Reports. 1437.
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