The Effect of Robotic Milking Systems on Economic Performance of Dairy Farms with a Simulation Model


The most remarkable technology brought to dairy farms by the digital transformation in agriculture is undoubtedly robotic milking systems (RMS). Knowing the economic impact of this technology is essential for farmers to adopt. For this purpose, in the study; a simulation model was created that gives possible economic analysis results as a result of the use of RMS by using the current economic analysis results of dairy farms. For the economic analysis of dairy farms, data obtained from face-to-face surveys from 148 dairy farms were used. Assumptions used in the simulation model for comparing RMS and conventional milking systems (CMS) were 8.66% increase in milk yield, 58.46% increase in investment costs, 36.66% increase in energy consumption, 1.33% increase in feed costs and 27.84% decrease in labor input. The economic analysis of the dairy farms was made again with these new input and output values obtained. While the simulation results show that the use of RMS is a preferable investment that increases profitability for 10-60 head and 121 + head groups; it shows that it will be an investment that negatively affects profitability for the 61-120 head group. The simulation model was used by taking the average values of the data belonging to the dairy farm groups. A dairy farmer considering an RMS investment can be able to obtain a result specific to his farm if he combines the simulation model with his own economic analysis results.