Deal significantly expands Afimilk's offerings for cow monitoring
Afimilk, Ltd., a global provider of dairy farm management solutions, announced it has acquired Silent Herdsman, a private VC-funded company from Glasgow, UK and developer of a neck-collar monitoring system used to detect estrus and health problems in dairy cows.
"Silent Herdsman complements Afimilk's popular AfiAct II product line with unique functionality and powerful features based on new technology" said Afimilk CEO Yuval Rachmilevitz, whose company makes the leg-mounted cow monitoring system, AfiAct II. "Afimilk has been a leader in leg pedometers since we released our first estrus detection sensor in 1984. With Silent Herdsman, Afimilk will be the leading provider of head sensors as well."
Estrus detection is serious business in the dairy industry, as cows must be bred regularly in order to keep producing milk. Each additional day a cow remains "open" can cost a dairy producer up to $7 in reduced profitability.* Detecting health problems early is also important, as prompt treatment can significantly reduce costs associated with lost production, involuntary culling or cow death.
Silent Herdsman is a patented, neck-mounted cow monitoring system, developed with Scottish Government support, that monitors cows and heifers 24/7 via a patented sensor mounted on a neck collar. The system detects estrus and health problems based on cow activity, rumination and eating patterns. Data is transmitted wirelessly from the collar via a base station to a central computer on the farm that issues alerts for changes indicating estrus or illness. Producers can receive alerts, and remotely monitor individual animals or the entire herd from virtually any computer, tablet or smart phone. They are thus able to spend less time directly observing the herd, and more time breeding and treating cows automatically identified by the system. Simple to install, operate and maintain, Silent Herdsman requires no special expertise beyond the basic knowledge of a touch-screen PC system. It is currently installed in hundreds of dairy farms throughout Europe.
AfiAct II by Afimilk is a leg-mounted cow monitoring system that detects estrus and various disorders based on activity and resting behavior. Like Silent Herdsman, it issues alerts in real time to a local computer as well as smart phones and tablets.
According to Rachmilevitz, most AfiAct II customers in the U.S. report pregnancy rates exceeding 25 percent. Many producers are also using it as a tool to assess the impact of management changes on herd performance, such as a change in feed or parlor equipment.
Rachmilevitz said both systems are very accurate and highly scalable, with long-range radio and long-life battery. Each can be used as a stand-alone solution for cow monitoring. Together, Silent Herdsman and AfiAct II provide dairy producers with a full range of cow monitoring options for virtually any size operation. "The Silent Herdsman neck-collar monitoring system will help Afimilk customers make more money, save time and keep their herds healthy," he said.
For nearly 40 years, Afimilk has provided dairy producers with advanced technological solutions for managing their operations, profitably producing high-quality milk and improving animal welfare. Today, Afimilk is a global leader in farm management software and milk analysis tools for dairy operations in 50 countries.
For more information, contact a local Afimilk dealer or visit www.afimilk.com.
*Hutjens, Michael F. Are you leaving money on the table? Hoard's Dairyman, August 10, 2013.