Precision decisions on farm

Since milk quotas were abolished, many milk producers scaled up their enterprises. This has brought many benefits including; greater income opportunities, economies of scale and increased specialisation to name but a few. But, with larger numbers, farmers are far busier and have less time to dedicate to decision making and it is harder to manage cows at an individual level.

To assist with these challenges a growing number of farmers are investing in heat and health monitoring technologies. SenseHub livestock intelligence is wearable technology, (akin to a Fitbit) that can be an ear tag or neck collar device. It monitors various animal behaviours (ie. movements, eating patterns, ruminations etc) and from these behaviours it can precisely identify the onset of heat, optimum timings of inseminations, irregular heats, anoestrus etc etc. The breeding season is the life-blood of the farm, as it determines calving patterns and future genetic improvements on the farm. This technology allows the animals to be monitored accurately and remotely, which allows milk producers the extra time to do other tasks on farm.

In addition, as the technology is monitoring the animals 24/7, it can now keep an eye on the cows health. The algorithm working in the back ground, is able to monitor the cow’s behaviour and then inform the farm through text alerts the onset of sickness of individual cows. Often a day in advance of visible symptoms being seen. This allows remedial action to be take in advance of clinical symptoms, so the animal can get back on the road to recovery quicker and minimise any production losses.

In effect these technologies help both labour constraints and decision making on farm. The farm can get back to managing the cow on an individual level again.