Friday, March 30, 2018

Precision Dairy Farming - Where to Start


As support manager for BoviSync in Wisconsin, Jeffrey Bewley identifies customer needs for the cattle management software company. Coming from an academic background, Jeffrey Bewley brings to the table expert knowledge of precision dairy farming.

This new development refers to the practice of quantifying important measures of health and productivity on a per-animal basis. The sheer amount of innovative technology can make it difficult for farmers to know where to begin.

Perhaps the most obvious place to start is milk production. Software can record how much milk each cow gives, enabling farmers to fine-tune the amount of feed each one receives. This makes for cost savings and increased yields.

Offering another enhancement is heat detection software, which permits growers to find the optimal time for breeding and hence the best periods of lactation.

A major concern for growers is mastitis, a common disease that affects milk production and profitability. Precision dairy farming technology enables the early detection of telltale somatic cells in the milk, letting farmers treat the problem even sooner than before. 

The future should bring further improvements. Generalized systems such as DeLaval’s Herd Navigator will identify which cows need special attention.