Economic benefits of information technologies were assessed at farm level by means of a dynamic probabilistic simulation model. The model included biological performances with respect to oestrus detection and concentrate feeding. In this way, main benefits of activity meters, automated concentrate feeders and on-line automated parlour systems for recording of milk production and milk temperature could be estimated. In comparison with the default situation, improvement in oestrus detection from 50% to 90% increased gross margin by Dfl. 1.28 per 100 kg fat and protein corrected milk (FPCM) per year under Dutch production conditions. This equals 8.0% of a farmer's typical net return to labour and management. Using an individual feeding system increased gross margin by Dfl. 0.77 per 100 kg FPCM per year and the net return to labour and management by 4.8%. Feeders increased the frequency of concentrate provision from two to four times a day. Moreover, a more accurate performance-related concentrate provision was achieved from total daily amount in portions of 1-0.1 kg. In addition feeders enabled the possibility of overcoming the limited concentrate intake for high-producing animals in the milking parlour in the beginning of the lactation. A more accurate milk production estimation increased gross margin and the net return to labour and management by Dfl. 0.17 per 100 kg FPCM and 1.1% respectively. In the latter case equilibrium feeding was compared with a feeding method in which concentrate supply was based on an standard deviation of 5% in the estimated energy requirements for milk production. The results of this study will be used to evaluate theoretically the economic viability of the investigated IT applications.
van Asseldonk, M. A. P. M., Jalvingh, A. W., Huirne, R. B. M., & Dijkhuizen, A. A. (1999). Potential economic benefits from changes in management via information technology applications on Dutch dairy farms : a simulation study. Livestock Production Science, 60, 33-44. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0301-6226(99)00039-1