German farmers put money in robot, not parlour

13-12-2018 | |
German farmer puts money in robot, not parlour. Photo: Peter Roek
German farmer puts money in robot, not parlour. Photo: Peter Roek

A low percentage of German dairy farmers are willing to invest in milking parlours. Investment plans for milking robots is a different story. More than half of the German farmers want to do this.

This is according to a survey from Dutch agrimarketing firm AgriDirect. In the survey, approximately 22,000 German farmers were being asked about their agricultural activities, future plans and investment plans.

Investments done at farms over 200 cows

After a sharp decline from 10.6% to 7.5% (from 2013 to 2015), the percentages of investment plans in milking parlours continue to fall. This year, we see another drop from 7.4% in 2017 to 6.4% in 2018. If we look at farm size, the investment plans are lower for farms with 50-70 cows and 70 to 100 cows, compared to the bigger farms. The plans of farms with 100-200 cows remain stable. Investment plans increase when farms reach a size of 200 cows or more.

Interest in milking robot continues

In total, 53.3% of the willing to investment dairy farmers are interested in purchasing a milking robot. During the last years there has been an increasing trend in the interest in buying milking robots. In 2012, only 37% were interested in a milking robot. This percentage has increased by more than 16% in 5 years. The increase, compared to last year, is seen for all farm sizes. The largest interest to buy a new milking robot is seen with farmers having 200 cows or more.

Herringbone milking parlour most popular

If we look at other investment opportunities, 18.2% of the farmers is willing to invest in a herringbone milking parlour, 5.4% are interested in a side-by-side parlour and 4.5% in a rotary milking parlour.

Emmy Koeleman Freelance editor