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How Nedap’s dairy activity monitoring system helps cut costs

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

Nedap Livestock Management is the global leader in farming automation using individual animal identification. For more than 40 years, Nedap strengthens dairy farmers through the most reliable and innovative cow identification, monitoring and automation solutions.They empower managers and personnel with dependable information to make operational and strategic decisions and help dairies become more efficient, productive and successful.

For Nedap, trust and reliability in both partnership and technology are key. Leading international dairy farming companies, including genetics and milking equipment suppliers, partner with Nedap to include its technology in their systems. A publicly listed company, Nedap employs more than 700 people globally, across 11 locations and seven business units.

For more information please visit our website www.nedap.com/dairyfarming

Many dairy farmers are searching for ways to control costs without compromising cow comfort, health or performance.

Activity monitoring systems can help achieve cost savings by streamlining everyday tasks and reducing animal care and reproductive costs.

We’ve seen dairy farms of all sizes in the UK and Ireland turn to activity monitoring systems to help offset production costs,” says Tara Bohnert, business development manager at Nedap Livestock Management.

“Using a state-of-the-art activity monitoring system, you can track your cow’s heat signs, location, eating, rumination and inactive behaviour in real-time on mobile devices. Knowing the health and reproductive status of each cow means you can cut management and labour costs and ensure every cow gets needed care.”

How much does preventing a missed heat save you?

There are only 1.5 mounts per cow per hour and each mount lasts four-to-six seconds. A cow’s heat lasts six-to-eight hours.

Approximately 70% of mounting occurs between 7:00pm and 7:00am when cows have limited distractions.

Collectively, these numbers tell us cows are in heat for one-third of the day and spend just three-to-five minutes standing to be mounted, mostly at nighttime.

That’s a very small window to catch a heat.

Nedap CowControl monitors every cow 24/7 and accurately detects multiple heat signs like increased activity, sniffing, chin resting and mounting behavior.

It shows a list of cows in heat, including their optimal insemination moment, to be able to breed the right cows at the right time.

“We completed a 100% submission rate in less than four weeks, which we could never come near that before with the old system”

Farmers that use the system report a dramatic rise in their submission rate since installing it.

Previously, Irish dairy farmer Enda Doran would rely on tailpaint with his spring calving based herd but was not overly successful.

“Since installing Nedap, it was already up to 97% in the first spring. And we completed a 100% submission rate in less than four weeks, which we could never come near that before with the old system,” he said.

“We find with missed cycles that there is a loss in production of an average of €250/cow. If you take this in account, the investment in the system is paid back within a short time.”

In addition, activity monitoring systems will take over the job of heat detection, saving time and labour.

How much can earlier detection of health issues save you?

What if you could detect acute mastitis and other common diseases earlier? Mastitis is among the most contagious and costly diseases affecting dairy farms.

In fresh cows, a case results in an average loss of 357 pounds (406 euros) and in the UK only, around one million cases of bovine mastitis occur each year, causing 200 millions pounds of losses in production and treatments every year (Science Daily 2008).

Activitiy monitoring systems are able to detect possible health issues days before their symptoms are visible to the human eye.

To be able to provide the most accurate and complete information, Nedap CowControl monitors eating activity, rumination patterns and inactive behavior during which the cow is neither eating nor ruminating.

Finding and addressing potentially sick cows saves time, medical costs, death loss and milk production because the cows can bounce back quickly and return to peak milk sooner.

One of the first signs of acute mastitis

One of the first signs of acute mastitis

For example, is lack of appetite.

And, when the data indicates a sudden drop in chewing time compared to cow or herd historical data, the system alerts you that the affected cow needs attention.

If a cow does have acute mastitis, the health alert can help you identify and diagnose it before more obvious symptoms appear like swelling, hardness, redness and heat.

The same goes for cases of ketosis or displaced abomasums.

For example, displaced abomasums can cost at least € 275 per case and take up to two weeks for the cow to resume normal milk production.

Ketosis can cost a 200-cow dairy with a 30% ketosis rate about € 15.180 a year. By lowering the ketosis rate by just 5%, the dairy could save € 2.530 per year. And that’s beneficial to both you and your cows.

Where to start saving?

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 nedap.com/cowcontrol