Advertiser content

How a dairy farmer saves two to three cows a year

Provided by

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.

For more information please visit

Dairy farmer Bert Versteeg from The Netherlands believes that it is very important to have healthy and fertile cows and activity monitoring technology helps to achieve this.

He worked with Nedap cow identification in the milking parlour from 2007 to 2014.

Nedap CowControl was deployed at the end of 2014 with the arrival of the SmartTags and now he says he cannot imagine working without it anymore.

Dairy farmer Bert Versteeg

Dairy farmer Bert Versteeg

The Versteeg farm has 120 cows and 70 head of youngstock. Roughage is produced from 44ha of grass and 11ha of maize.

Bert Versteeg always starts the day by taking a glance at the dashboard screen on his computer as he walks through the milking room into the barn in the morning.

Health management at our farm has been greatly improved thanks to the attention system.

“The first thing I do is check the overview on my screen. It shows me at a glance the cows in heat, the cows that need attention cows and the cows that require urgent action.

“Obviously, you would prefer not to see that last category, jokes Bert. But if there’s a cow there, I go straight to her.”

Mr Versteeg at his computer

Mr Versteeg can see at a glance the status of his herd

The SmartTag Neck registers the eating and ruminating behaviour and activity of the cows.

It also provides positioning and cow recognition. If a cow does not eat or ruminate for six hours, she will be placed on the urgent attention list.

“In nine times out of 10, if something is really wrong, I can immediately intervene”, Bert says.

“Monitoring using the neck tags has saved me at least two or three cows a year, which I would otherwise have needed to dispose of”, he says.

Moreover, the cows recover sooner if action is taken quickly and in the right way. It lets the farmer either prevent health issues or to keep them under control.

Dairy cows in shed

Versteeg dairy herd

Cows in heat are also immediately visible on the dashboard. The farm does inseminations themselves and 90% of the inseminations they perform are based on the heat alerts from the neck tags.

Mr Versteeg says: “When cleaning the stalls and grates, I check the behaviour of the cows with the heat alerts. But I can trust blindly in the neck tags”.


Using Nedap CowControl is also beneficial for youngstock. Bert fits the neck tags when the yearlings are around one year old.

In this way, he can record the first cycles and check whether she has a regular cycle. If that is not the case, the vet can check whether something is wrong.

As the entire day is not spent with the youngstock in the barn, it is useful to Mr Versteeg that the neck tags catch heat signals, which he would otherwise miss.

He inseminates the yearling by the third cycle. Nedap CowControl is therefore an ideal and safe tool for determining the optimal insemination time.

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