Penn State University ag economists Phoebe Engel and Jeffrey Hyde recently unveiled a new decision tool designed to help evaluate the economic value of robotic milking systems. The authors created the program to allow users to estimate the relative economic value of this new technology, compared to more conventional milking systems.

"Robotic milkers: How much can I afford to pay?" is a spreadsheet that illustrates the various cost comparisons. The tool is available at the Web site: