Dairy farmers are no strangers to technology, in fact, dairy farmers have often been the front-runners when it comes to adopting new technologies in agriculture. When the robotic milking machine made its way to the U.S. in the year 2000, dairy farmers were eager to see how this new tech could be used to boost efficiencies, lower production costs and improve animal welfare. Fast forward 20 years and it would be hard to find any large dairy operation without one.
Dairy farming is a tough gig, with many producers continually looking for ways to increase their profits, lower their costs and optimize animal welfare to deliver a safe, nutritious and affordable supply of milk. And just like the milking machines at the turn of the century, precision dairy technology has all the potential to deliver results producers are looking for.
One of the most appealing aspects of precision dairy tech is the individualization of the herd. While most farmers give names / numbers to all the ladies in the barn and keep observational notes and important details, precision dairy farming can take it a step or two further. Each animal in the herd will have their own digital profile where producers can quickly access information such as individual daily milk yields, body weight measurements, milk component monitoring (protein, fat, somatic cell count, etc.), estrus detection, temperature recording, milk conductivity indicators, and much more.
With the increased use of precision technology in the dairy industry, farmers have been seeing less herd culling due to diseases that can now be detected quickly in individual cows, which can then be isolated and treated away from the rest of the herd, limiting pathogen exposure to healthy cows and heifers. Special dietary needs and medication dispensation can also be calculated and used in treatment plans.
Want to learn more about precision dairy technology and how you can take your operation to the next level? Join us at the 2020 Farms.com Eastern Precision Agriculture Conference & Ag Technology Showcase on January 29 & 30, 2020, at RBC Place, London, Ontario.