• Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

Technologies assists dairies use information to get lucrative


May 26, 2023

Dairy farmers know much more about dairy cows these days than generations just before them. Why? The adoption of technologies on farms is a key cause.

Most farmers use information from revolutionary technologies to recognize the biology behind their dairy herds to make much better choices and turn into much more effective.
“With information, we are finding out that our cows are altering more than time and are enhancing their production, so farmers cannot use information from ten years ago to make choices these days due to the fact we had distinctive animals back then along with distinctive technologies and nutrition,” says Veridiana Daley, Purina Mills senior researcher of adult dairy cows.
According to a current Association of Gear Suppliers report, advancing revolutionary technologies with dairy cow genetics and automated management systems on farms are the most important contributing components in minimizing the dairy industry’s carbon footprint, equivalent to taking four million automobiles off the road.
The report also discovered that today’s dairy herd produces 4 instances as substantially as the international typical, with 16 million fewer cows. In addition, farmers’ adoption of technologies has saved sufficient water to provide New York City for two years.
“Dairy farming can be complicated. Farmers are beneath a lot of tension, time crunches, and tight profit margins. The target of making use of technologies is to support farmers make much better choices, obtain the bottlenecks of their operation, and be much more lucrative at the finish of the day,” says Alex Tebbe, a dairy technical specialist with Purina. 

 The creation of a higher-grade dairy cow 

Genomic testing and genetic choice for desirable traits such as milk yield have helped farmers develop much more productive dairy cows. 
Most dairies are testing heifer calves to see which ones will genetically make appropriate replacements in their herd. The tests show the genetic possible of milk production, says David Erf, senior veterinarian of dairy technical solutions with Zoetis. 
“When we genomic test calves, it can predict their future,” says Erf. “The target is to obtain which animals will be much more lucrative for dairies.”
Genetic testing and choice enable farmers to lower the quantity of cows that are not price-successful. 
“Testing makes it possible for us to genetically obtain much more of these problems-free of charge cows that are very good at production, very good at reproduction, and in very good overall health due to the fact a cow that can excel in these 3 places, she’s going to be a lucrative cow for any farm,” Erf says. 

Farmers have much more effective use of time and sources

Currently, the most in depth use of technologies on dairy farms is a robotic milking program, which has revolutionized the milking parlor. 
A robotic milking program can bring much more flexibility to dairy farmers and enable them to concentrate on other tasks, such as crop operate, due to the fact they are no longer tied to a cow, says Suzanne Meck, chief operations officer of AMS Galaxy USA, a provider of precision dairy farming gear.  
In a robotic milking program, a sensor detects the cows present and automatically cleans the cows’ teats just before and just after attaching the milker. In addition, the program will gather information from a cow’s collar – which is substantially like a Fitbit device for humans — to track her milking time, pounds of milk created, and rumination. 
“Cows can milk themselves about the clock. So possibly you do not have to be concerned about acquiring up at the crack of dawn the subsequent morning to get started chores,” says Meck.
In most situations, a robotic or automatic milking program can also imply that cows invest much more time in the barn. According to Meck, that can make it difficult for farmers to get into barns to clean out pens and supply fresh bedding.  
Nonetheless, there are automated cleaning systems such as a flush program, scrapers, and robotic manure collectors that drag via the barn and take manure to a deposit location, says Meck. 
“Automated gear does a very good job due to the fact it really is operating about the clock,” she adds. 
Most manure management systems also have water-saving processes and water use tracking functions to support farmers make much better choices with water sources. 
Farms are also updating to automated bedding systems, which support lower bedding waste by placing out compact qualities all through the day. In addition, automated bedding improves cow overall health and comfort, says Meck. 
“This form of automation makes it possible for the farmer to bed their cows 3 to 4 instances a day, as opposed to as soon as or twice a week the manual way,” adds Meck. “The cows also like obtaining that fresh bedding regularly.”

Working with information from technologies to much better management decisions 

Currently, one particular cow can develop much more than two billion information points more than her lifetime. According to Daley, most dairy farms are gathering physical information points from numerous computer software or monitoring technologies that gather much more than a hundred kinds of info.
Farms at a much more basic level with herds that only do Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI) tests as soon as a month are nonetheless gathering 5 to ten information points on their cows month-to-month, adds Tebbe. 
Nonetheless, measuring and comparing information to obtain bottlenecks on a farm can be tricky when there is no straightforward way to integrate the information from the numerous technologies on a farm. Tebbe says that is exactly where Addie, a Purina dairy record evaluation system, comes in. It collects information from all the management computer software technologies becoming employed on the farm and creates a report with actionable insights producers can use to boost financial possible.

“Farms that have embraced technologies can have 4 or six distinctive computer software systems collecting all their information. In the way Purina has constructed Addie, the program integrates information from these computer software systems, in an straightforward-to recognize type, enabling us get started to recognize the complete image of the farm,” says Tebbe. 
“Addie is a tool or technologies that is all about the cows,” adds Daley. 

In making use of the collected information, farmers appear for strategies to be much more effective with their sources, such as producing much more milk production with much less feed or detecting illness earlier in cows just before it impacts their properly-becoming.
“Farmers are curious folks. They usually want to know much more, and they ask excellent queries, so we can take their queries and transform their information to get the answers they need to have to succeed,” adds Tebbe.