Activity monitoring technology is beneficial to both you and your cows.
Dairy farming is a job like no other. You are your own boss, working in an industry you care about. But 2019 has presented its fair share of farming challenges. Struggles with milk prices, unpredictable weather, and political climate can make you feel like you’ve lost control. With all this uncertainty, there’s peace of mind knowing you have technology on your farm to help you stay in control and make your best better.
Real-time activity monitoring is not just for heat detection. It brings actionable insights to your fingertips to help you save on labor and resources. And, investing in technology that can save you money is a smart investment at any milk price.
Here are five ways activity monitoring can pay off in your herd:
- Improved labor efficiency. Feel like you’re always running behind? What if you didn’t need to watch for heats anymore? What could you or your employees be doing instead? How much would you save if your veterinarian spent 30-60 fewer minutes searching for cows per herd check?
Activity monitoring systems can detect heats 24/7 and take many factors into account, not just mounting and activity. The result is more comprehensive heat detection and the ability to use labor elsewhere. Activity monitoring can even help you find cows quickly by telling you exactly where they are in in the pen. A few extra minutes here and there can quickly add up, and saved time can be spent doing more productive farm tasks. Or even help you get the kids to T-ball on time.
- Reduced health issues. Illnesses don’t wait. Neither should you. Activity monitoring systems continuously monitor eating activity, rumination patterns and inactive behavior. You can quickly detect diseases such as ketosis, subclinical mastitis and pneumonia days before a cow shows symptoms. Finding and addressing potentially sick cows saves you time and money because the cows can bounce back quickly and return to peak milk sooner.
- Improved cow comfort and longevity. Comfortable cows can produce more milk. Activity monitoring systems offer actionable insights to help you improve housing, handling, nutrition and employee performance. For example, if you see chewing time drop in a whole group of cows, it could indicate their ration is imbalanced. If you notice a group of cows is suddenly very active, that might mean someone left the gate open. Improvements based on these insights pay off in terms of cow production, health and longevity.
- Improved conception rates. Don’t guess the optimal breeding time. Activity monitoring systems accurately pinpoint it. This improves conception rates, reduces breeding costs and shortens open periods.
- Real-time decision making anywhere, anytime. Need to spend time away from the farm? Activity monitoring systems keep you in-the-know 24/7 and can alert you the minute they detect an issue with a cow or group of cows. These insights allow you to make immediate management decisions. Whether you’re at the fair with your family or in the field, you can have peace of mind knowing your activity monitoring system is watching over your farm and keeping you in control.
Will it really pay off?
With actionable data, you can make your best better. Even in down economies, farms report that activity monitoring systems can pay for themselves in just 1-3 years. And your added peace of mind? Priceless.
Where do I start?
Contact your milking equipment or A.I. supplier. Leading US suppliers partner with Nedap to include activity monitoring systems in their offerings. They connect seamlessly with individual parlor and herd monitoring systems.
To learn more about activity monitoring systems and how they can help your farm reach your productivity goals, visit nedap.com/cowcontrol.
Nedap Livestock Management is the global leader in farming automation using individual animal identification. Nedap’s easy-to-use technology helps farmers manage millions of dairy and beef cattle, and pigs 24 hours a day, in more than 100 countries. Nedap empowers managers and personnel with dependable information to make operational and strategic decisions and has for more than 40 years. Nedap focuses on helping livestock farmers become the best farmers in the world. A publicly listed company, Nedap employs more than 700 people globally, across 11 locations and eight business units.