Completed Project Report


Evaluating milking center decisions: Automatic milking systems vs. parlors.

  • Award Amount: $49,553
  • Regional Center: North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center
  • Grant Program: 2016 Education Projects
  • Project Director: Jim Salfer
  • Email: salfe001@umn.edu
  • Organization: Regents of the University of Minnesota

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Project Overview

The challenge of hiring high quality employees on dairy farms has been increasing in recent years. As a result, here is growing interest in automatic milking systems (AMS) in the Upper Midwest. Because of the higher capital cost, AMS carry higher financial risk than other milking center options.

For this project we: 1. Developed online and spreadsheet tools to compare the risk of AMS to parlors and; 2. Developed educational programs on milking center options and risks.

Thirteen workshops were held in five states (IA, MN, ND, NE, and SD) and 276 participants were educated on the risks of AMS compared to parlors. Scenarios were used to help participants understand the risk factors associated with milking center decisions. Twenty-nine farms attended small group or one-on-one meetings with computers to develop a plan for their farm. These 29 farms used this tool to help make a correct milking center decision for their farm business.

We discussed the tool at seven dairy field days reaching 553 participants. We were invited to 8 meetings presenting to 580 people.

Number of Participants: 276

Results

Project Steps

PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS

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EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS

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REPORTS & EVALUATIONS

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