Dairy farmers are currently employing 34,000 robots around the globe and manufacturer DeLaval expects that number will double in the next five years.
Since robots began appearing on farms in the 1990s, most have been confined to smaller farms throughout Europe, including Germany, France and the Netherlands. Canada currently sits sixth in the ranking of countries using robots.
At Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in September, RealAgriculture’s Bernard Tobin spoke with Jouko Tiainen, DeLaval’s Global Business Development Manager. In the video below, he explains that currently an average farm uses two robots, but larger herds and mega herds in the US, Asia and Russia are now coming into the business. DeLaval is now working on projects with 30 or more robots on farm.
Tiainen feels robot growth will be driven by the availability of labour and the consistent performance robots provide. He also notes that the increased labour and management flexibility robots deliver can be realized on small-scale operations, as well as bigger farms.
Making robots more than just a milking machine will also be key in increased adoption of the technology. That includes turning data produced by robots into management actions and further integrating robots with other aspects of dairy barn management.