Analysis of adoption trends of in-parlor technologies over a 10-year period for labor saving and data capture on pasture-based dairy farms
The use of precision technology is increasingly seen as an option to improve productivity, animal welfare, resource use efficiency, and workplace features on dairy farms. There is limited research related to longitudinal adoption patterns of precision dairy technologies and reasons for any patterns. The aim of this analysis was to investigate trends in technology adoption regarding both the amount (number of farms with a technology) and intensity (number of technologies per farm) of adoption. Surveys of parlor technology adoption were conducted on New Zealand dairy farms in 2008, 2013, and 2018, with 532, 500, and 500 respondents, respectively. Technologies were grouped into labor-saving (LS, such as automatic cluster removers) or data-capture (DC, such as in-line milk meters) categories. Trends were examined for farms that had only LS, only DC, or LS+DC technologies. Technology adoption increased over time; the likelihood of technology adoption in 2018 (and 2013 in parentheses) increased by 21 (22), 7 (68), and 378% (165) for LS, DC, and LS+DC technology groups, respectively, compared to 2008. Farms with LS+DC technologies also had a greater proportion of LS technologies compared to non-LS+DC farms, although this relationship declined over the 10-yr period. The use of a rotary versus herringbone parlor was estimated to be associated with 356 and 470% increase in the likelihood of adopting LS technologies and LS+DC, respectively, from 2008 to 2018. Regional differences in adoption were also found, with the likelihood of adopting DC and LS+DC technologies found to be 46 and 59% greater, respectively, in the South Island of New Zealand, compared to the base region of Waikato. The results highlight the importance of understanding spatial and temporal farm characteristics when considering future effect and adoption of precision dairy technologies. For example, the analysis indicates the occurrence of 2 trajectories to technology investment on farms, where larger farms are able to take advantage of technology opportunities, but smaller farms may be constrained by factors such as lack of economies of scale, limited capital to invest, and inability to retrofit technology into aging parlor infrastructure.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsdairy; technology; labor saving; data capture; investment; adoption; Dairy & Animal Science; Milk; Animals; Cattle; Humans; Animal Welfare; Dairying; Investments; New Zealand; Farmers; Farms
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