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Data-driven technology: A huge gamechanger in dairy farming

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Helping livestock farmers to be the best performing farmers in the world

For more than 40 years, Nedap strengthens farmers through the most reliable and innovative animal identification, monitoring and automation solutions. They empower managers and personnel with dependable information to make operational and strategic decisions and help farmers be more efficient, productive and successful.

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Managing 750 cows can be a time consuming job if you do everything manually. Arthur Crutchley decided to make modern technology his right hand, in order to run his dairy farm more efficiently and achieve better results.

And now he can’t imagine life without Nedap CowControl.

“When I started on the farm, we did all the heat detection visually,” says Arthur. “I was walking the barns morning, noon and at night, for four hours a day.

“I spent my evenings looking for cows in heat and trying to increase our pregnancy rates. But they stuck around 14%. So that wasn’t much of a life for me.”

Better results in less time

To improve pregnancy rate, the Crutchley family trialled three different systems at the same time.

Arthur explains: “Nedap CowControl had a 16% higher submission rate and proved to be the most accurate system. We chose Nedap and the pregnancy rate has now increased to 30%”.

Arthur experienced more benefits from this technology; “The SmartTags have saved me a lot of time. I can now leave the cows alone and that not only improves the pregnancy rate, but it also brought forward my days in milk at first breeding to eighty days from a hundred days, as it was before.

“For the right insemination moment, I now just check up on the computer to see which cows are bulling, I fully rely on the SmartTags. And the great thing is that I am now using less hormones.”

cow sheds

Health benefits

In addition to heat detection, the SmartTags also register the cows’ eating behaviour, rumination behaviour and inactivity. These parameters are converted into a health report. Arthur has therefore developed a new daily routine.

“Every morning I have a look at the heat activity so that I know which cows to inseminate and I also check the health attentions”, he confirms.

“I then look up all the cows on the attention list. The best health benefit that Nedap CowControl offer is the speed with which it picks out the sick cows.

The system detects a cow with mastitis before her udder hardens or the milk changes colour. And E. coli cows are already on the attention list before the watery manure stage.

This has really improved the health status on our farm, while using much less antibiotics.”

Quick return on investment

“The payback time of the Nedap CowControl system is approximately ten months for us, purely based on the improved reproduction results”, Arthur has calculated.

“Excluding all health benefits and the enormous savings on antibiotic and hormone use. I wouldn’t want to go back to the days when I didn’t have these SmartTags ”, says Arthur.

Arthur with one of his cows

Learn more about Nedap CowControl

Leading international genetics and milking equipment suppliers partner with Nedap to include its activity monitoring system in their solutions. Learn more about Nedap CowControl and find your supplier at