Funk's Midway Dairy in New Munich, Minnesota2, has been using one of these sensor technologies (the Heatime® HR Tag from SCR Dairy), which allow them to track rumination, in addition to activity monitoring, enabling the dairy personnel to see deviations from normal activity. Since the system has been integrated into the Funk's 600-cow dairy, transition cow management has been streamlinedâ€”and more effective. At 3:00 a.m. an employee goes over the rumination report to determine which cows need attention. "Instead of spending time eyeballing all the cows, we go straight to those one or two cows that need attention," says Karl Funk.
"We realized we were over treating about half of our mastitis cases," notes Funk. "Also, before the SCR system was in place, we would drench cows with ketosis twice a day for two weeks. Now, in the second week, we usually drench only once a day and sometimes the system tells us they're healthy enough to not need further treating. If cow health is important to you, the rumination monitoring makes the system pay for itselfâ€”and that's without even considering the heat activity part," Funk concludes.
The University of Minnesota will host the first ever U.S. Precision Dairy Conference and Expo June 26-27, 2013, where you can hear and see more about these automated sensor technologies along with many other topics related to precision dairy management. During the optional tour on June 25, you will have the opportunity to see a system in action at a dairy farm near Rochester. It is an exciting precision dairy world, and more technologies are coming! Check http://precisiondairy.umn.edu/ for more details about the event and mark your calendars!
1Bar and Solomon, 2010. In proceedings of First North American Precision Dairy Conference.
2From SCR website.
Read the original article here.
-Marcia Endres, Extension Dairy Scientist, University of Minnesota