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31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Automatic milking systems : characterisation of the equipped farms, economic consequences, a few thoughts before investment.

INRA Prod. Anim., 14(1), 51-61.


1 INRA Laboratoire Economie de l’Elevage, Theix, 63122 St-Genès-Champanelle

2 Bureau Technique de Promotion Laitière, La Futaie, 72700 Rouillon

In France, about a hundred dairy farms are equipped with an automatic milking system. But we have not got any references on these farms. Nearly half of the whole population was interviewed. The farms visited are large. But milk production is often in competition with other productions and some labour-related problems appear. The farmers had to invest mainly because of their antiquated equipment, and an automatic milking system was chosen to reduce the workload. The automatic milking system essentially offers a better hourly flexibility. An increase in milk yield is observed too. The economic simulations show that the annual cost of the automatic milking system is important in comparison with the annual cost of the milking parlour. Four parameters particularly influence this : labour cost, milk yield increase, amortization period and milking parlour options. From these simulations, the automatic milking system appears to be more adapted for farms whose herds include between 50 and 60 cows. Lastly, the present observations and analysis enable the drawing-up of the most important points to be considered by farmers who want to invest : labour, economy, milk production and processing system, herd and grazing management and characteristics of the automatic milking system. In the future new references will further these thoughts.

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