Myths about robotic milking - Part 1

Dairy farmers who invest in the Lely Astronaut milking robot often say that they wish they’d done it sooner. Benefits including increased milk production, better flexibility and work-life balance are all regularly fed back to Lely Centers by customers. Here we tackle the first two of five common myths about Lely robotic milking equipment: “The initial investment is not affordable”, “They are expensive to run and might bring unexpected bills”.

Management, Milking


Lely Astronaut milking robot generates a wealth of data and the Horizon app can unlock further productivity gains, boosting the health and welfare of the herd as well as the farm business’s bottom line.

With all these benefits made possible by robotic milking we asked members of the Lely Center Midlands Sales and Marketing team about the myths they frequently hear which may be preventing others from making the move to bright farming.

“The initial investment is not affordable”

Like any large investment a milking robot is certainly a considered purchase. No one writes a cheque and pays for their robot outright. Like with any big purchase there are options to make it more manageable. These include buying second-hand units, loan arrangements and a new lease option which Lely Center Midlands is currently trialling.

Investing in automated milking is more than replacing your existing parlour, says Sales Representative Andy Wilson: “When you buy a milking robot it is like buying your labour up front as well.”

It is important to remember that milk yields and therefore income will increase once cows are being milked more regularly. If the farm is milking twice a day then they will see an average increase of around 20 per cent in yield once they have a milking robot.

Further info on financing your new milking robot see:

“They are expensive to run and might bring unexpected bills”

Ongoing costs associated with a milking robot include servicing, chemicals, power and water, much the same as a conventional parlour. The experienced team at Lely can give customers precise figures for the running and maintenance costs to help with the budgeting process. The Lely Astronaut requires three or four services per year, depending on the number of milkings so a robot working at its maximum capacity is likely to need four visits by a Lely technician every year. Some farmers might compare that to the servicing requirements of a tractor or other farming machinery. “It’s important to remember that unlike a tractor, milking robots are in use 24 hours a day,” says Lely Center Midlands General Manager Laurence Loxam. “We have customers that choose to follow a different schedule to keep costs down but it can be a false economy.”

Lely can also offer a fully comprehensive service package to cover any eventuality for customers who would like that additional peace of mind.