Dairy farmers will soon be able to test the body energy status and feed energy intake of their dairy cows thanks to some ground-breaking technology.
From as early as this summer farmers testing their milk with National Milk Records (NMR) will be able to sign up to the service, which will use mid-infrared technology (MIR) to highlight animals in negative energy balance or with a high energy intake.
See also: More news from Royal Highland Show
Speaking to Farmers Weekly at the Royal Highland Show, Eileen Wall, reader in integrative animal science at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) said they were hoping to roll out the test over the summer.
“The MIR test will be able to highlight cows at risk of metabolic disease, which could have a knock-on effect on fertility.”
Eileen Wall, Scotland’s Rural College
“The MIR test will be able to highlight cows at risk of metabolic disease, which could have a knock-on effect on fertility,” she said.
Cows consistently testing at the low end of energy balance could indicate there is a problem.
Dr Wall added: “It could be that farmers then take the results to their nutritionist to discuss.”
She added that results from the service would also be used to see whether there was a genetic link with negative energy balance and high energy intake.