• Tue. Jun 6th, 2023

Expertise helps dairies use information to get worthwhile


May 26, 2023

Dairy farmers know extra about dairy cows right now than generations earlier than them. Why? The adoption of expertise on farms is a major motive.

Most farmers use information from progressive applied sciences to know the biology behind their dairy herds to make higher selections and turn out to be extra environment friendly.
“With information, we’re studying that our cows are altering over time and are bettering their manufacturing, so farmers cannot use information from 10 years in the past to make selections right now as a result of we had completely different animals again then together with completely different applied sciences and diet,” says Veridiana Daley, Purina Mills senior researcher of grownup dairy cows.
In response to a latest Affiliation of Gear Producers report, advancing progressive expertise with dairy cow genetics and automatic administration methods on farms are essentially the most vital contributing components in decreasing the dairy trade’s carbon footprint, equal to taking 4 million automobiles off the street.
The report additionally discovered that right now’s dairy herd produces 4 occasions as a lot as the worldwide common, with 16 million fewer cows. As well as, farmers’ adoption of expertise has saved sufficient water to produce New York Metropolis for 2 years.
“Dairy farming will be complicated. Farmers are beneath quite a lot of stress, time crunches, and tight revenue margins. The aim of utilizing expertise is to assist farmers make higher selections, discover the bottlenecks of their operation, and be extra worthwhile on the finish of the day,” says Alex Tebbe, a dairy technical specialist with Purina. 

 The creation of a high-grade dairy cow 

Genomic testing and genetic choice for fascinating traits reminiscent of milk yield have helped farmers create extra productive dairy cows. 
Most dairies are testing heifer calves to see which of them will genetically make appropriate replacements of their herd. The checks present the genetic potential of milk manufacturing, says David Erf, senior veterinarian of dairy technical providers with Zoetis. 
“Once we genomic take a look at calves, it could predict their future,” says Erf. “The aim is to seek out which animals shall be extra worthwhile for dairies.”
Genetic testing and choice enable farmers to cut back the variety of cows that aren’t cost-effective. 
“Testing permits us to genetically discover extra of these trouble-free cows which might be good at manufacturing, good at copy, and in good well being as a result of a cow that may excel in these three areas, she’s going to be a worthwhile cow for any farm,” Erf says. 

Farmers have extra environment friendly use of time and sources

At present, essentially the most intensive use of expertise on dairy farms is a robotic milking system, which has revolutionized the milking parlor. 
A robotic milking system can convey extra flexibility to dairy farmers and permit them to deal with different duties, reminiscent of crop work, as a result of they’re now not tied to a cow, says Suzanne Meck, chief operations officer of AMS Galaxy USA, a supplier of precision dairy farming gear.  
In a robotic milking system, a sensor detects the cows current and mechanically cleans the cows’ teats earlier than and after attaching the milker. As well as, the system will gather information from a cow’s collar – which is very similar to a Fitbit gadget for people — to trace her milking time, kilos of milk produced, and rumination. 
“Cows can milk themselves across the clock. So possibly you do not have to fret about getting up on the morning time the subsequent morning to start out chores,” says Meck.
Normally, a robotic or automated milking system can even imply that cows spend extra time within the barn. In response to Meck, that may make it difficult for farmers to get into barns to scrub out pens and supply recent bedding.  
Nonetheless, there are automated cleansing methods reminiscent of a flush system, scrapers, and robotic manure collectors that drag by the barn and take manure to a deposit space, says Meck. 
“Automated gear does job as a result of it is working across the clock,” she provides. 
Most manure administration methods even have water-saving processes and water use monitoring options to assist farmers make higher selections with water sources. 
Farms are additionally updating to automated bedding methods, which assist cut back bedding waste by placing out small qualities all through the day. As well as, automated bedding improves cow well being and luxury, says Meck. 
“One of these automation permits the farmer to mattress their cows three to 4 occasions a day, versus a couple of times per week the handbook approach,” provides Meck. “The cows additionally like having that recent bedding regularly.”

Utilizing information from expertise to higher administration selections 

At present, one cow can create greater than 2 billion information factors over her lifetime. In response to Daley, most dairy farms are gathering bodily information factors from numerous software program or monitoring applied sciences that gather greater than 100 varieties of data.
Farms at a extra basic degree with herds that solely do Dairy Herd Enchancment (DHI) checks as soon as a month are nonetheless gathering 5 to 10 information factors on their cows month-to-month, provides Tebbe. 
Nonetheless, measuring and evaluating information to seek out bottlenecks on a farm will be troublesome when there isn’t a straightforward technique to combine the info from the varied applied sciences on a farm. Tebbe says that is the place Addie, a Purina dairy report evaluation program, is available in. It collects information from all of the administration software program expertise getting used on the farm and creates a report with actionable insights producers can use to extend financial potential.

“Farms which have embraced expertise can have 4 or six completely different software program methods gathering all their information. In the way in which Purina has constructed Addie, the system integrates information from these software program methods, in an easy-to perceive type, permitting us begin to perceive the entire image of the farm,” says Tebbe. 
“Addie is a device or expertise that’s all concerning the cows,” provides Daley. 

In utilizing the collected information, farmers search for methods to be extra environment friendly with their sources, reminiscent of creating extra milk manufacturing with much less feed or detecting sickness earlier in cows earlier than it impacts their well-being.
“Farmers are curious people. They at all times wish to know extra, and so they ask nice questions, so we are able to take their questions and remodel their information to get the solutions they should succeed,” provides Tebbe. 


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