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Survey of the sustainability aspects of Automatic Milking Systems (AMS) in organic dairy production

Oudshoorn, Frank and de Boer, Imke (2005) Survey of the sustainability aspects of Automatic Milking Systems (AMS) in organic dairy production. In: Cox, Sydney (Ed.) Book: Precision Livestock Farming 05, Wageningen academic press, pp. 193-199.

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Summary

The objective of this survey was to assess economic, ecological and societal sustainability aspects when introducing automatic milking systems on organic dairy cattle farms. The assessment is made in close relation to the stakeholders that have been determined. This assessment is based on current available knowledge which does not differentiate between organic and conventional management.Net farm income on conventional dairy farms introducing AMS does not increase significantly,neither is this expected for organic AMS farms. The time saving effect results in social but not economic advantages. Introduction of AMS on conventional farms in combination with grazing,results in a small increase in fossil energy use per kg milk, and an increase in eutrophication perha farm area due to less efficient use of total grazing area. Similar results are to be expected fororganic AMS dairy farms. Introduction of AMS does not result in animal health problems forconventional farms, and is not expected to result in problems for organic farms. Concerning cowwelfare, the relation between use of AMS and grazing required in organic production is essential.
Milk quality decreases due to the introduction of AMS at conventional farms, and might have asimilar effect at organic farms. Farmers’, consumers’ and other defined stakeholders’ perceptions of the selected sustainability aspects have hardly been investigated. Conventional farmers express satisfaction when asked after having invested in AMS. It is crucial to communicate with stakeholders about the different aspects of innovative technology and even more important to organic consumers that show major concern for product quality, ecology and animal welfare.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:AMS, sustainability indicators, organic dairy, pasture grazing
Subjects: Environmental aspects
Farming Systems
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
Research affiliation: Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > AU, DJF - Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
Deposited By: Oudshoorn, MSc Frank W.
ID Code:13858
Deposited On:04 Aug 2008
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:37
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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