2/03/2017

Invest in automatization or in labour?

Investing in automation may not instantly seem like the obvious thing for a livestock farmer to do. But the reality may actually be quite different than it appears on first sight. After all, the work still needs to be done. Many farmers are asking themselves: “Should I hire more employees?” But then they immediately think “That will cost me a lot of both time and money. And where can I find good staff nowadays?”. These are the dilemmas that farmers are dealing with at present. But does it also make sense in the long term? 

Far better to start outlining a long-term strategy for the business right now. That means making choices. Investing in employees, in mechanization or in automation. That depends on the business situation, of course, but improving certain processes is guaranteed to improve yields. Take milking and feeding, for example, tasks that need to be done every day and are very time-consuming. Ultimately, investing in this work will lead to long-term savings.

Take, for instance, an automated feeding system. Where you once spent around an two hours a day on feeding, with an automatic feeding system, the work time can be reduced to one hour every three days. The costs of the machine are amortized over the lifetime of the feeding robot. The first Triomatic feeding robot is now running for ten years. What's more, the cows thrive on it, because they receive fresh feed several times each day. That means less stress around the feeding fence and a better start for the young calves. 

Production costs can therefore be lowered as fixed costs are kept down. These also include energy costs, maintenance costs, interest charges, and the costs of veterinarians and any auxiliary equipment that may be needed. Automating the barn is worth it in the long run, and with the current low interest rates, investing in the future is not as crazy as you first thought. Please contact us for more information about automatic feeding

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