Dairy Technology 2019
This is especially true for dairy farmers.
Jeffrey Bewley ( (BYOO-lee)) with Alltech dairy housing & analytics says the ability to track and monitor information has never been greater – and wearable technology - for cows - is the latest tech trend to hit dairy farms.
“Basically what we do is we borrowed ideas from other parts of the world. So a lot of the wearable technologies that we have on farms today, they’re basically like a Fitbit. They actually use the same technology that’s in a Fitbit, called an accelerometer. So we use the FitBit technology to measure things like activity levels for estrus detection, rumination time, eating time. So we get behavioral information based on these tags that are watching the cows 24 hours a day.”
And he says, cameras can now evaluate important measures like body condition score, linear traits and locomotion scoring.
“We’re using the same cameras that are used in things like the Xbox. So we take those base technologies that become relatively inexpensive because of wide adoption levels in other industries, and we bring them into the dairy industry and modify them for our use to be able to provide us these new data sources, which gives us a lot of information from a day-to-day management perspective of the individual animals. I think the next horizon is being able to use this information for genetic selection also.”
Bewley says the challenge becomes managing the data, and creating from it, impactful information to improve the overall dairy community