With the tech revolution well underway, right now we’re all living in a world that’s constantly innovating. But while the most obvious signs of change might be thinner phones, electric cars and faster internet, the advances we’re seeing in technology are also being applied to the dairy industry.
Even in your own career, you may have switched your books over to a computer-based system or implemented new milking technology but there are plenty of other new gadgets and opportunities on the horizon. Here’s a look at a few ways farmers are already using new technology to make their lives’ easier – both here and abroad.
Other than milking every day, the second most important time on your farm is probably calving season. Reproduction directly impacts production and affects your farm’s bottom line, so being able to detect even the subtlest changes in your cows can provide an advantage. And to predict the beginning of the oestrous period and ovulation, Milkalyser have developed a milk scanner that can completely automate the process and take the guesswork out of farmers’ hands.
By using a process of progesterone monitoring, the Milkalyser can predict when cows are in heat and ready to breed. And by understanding a cow’s progesterone profile, it’s possible to identify when they fall pregnant and if they develop any reproductive issues.
This locally made app has a host of features that enable farmers of all stock to streamline their workflow digitally and manage their farms more effectively. Everything from timesheets and job scheduling to health and safety checks and noticeboards are features that the app boast, with the idea that any farm can be configured to the app so you can track records and methods and continually improve.
Getting out to check your pastures is all in a day’s work, but what happens when most farmers ahve more land than they can find time to look at? Agricultural drones are becoming more and more specialised depending on the job at hand, and they can pay themselves off in the space of one flight if an animal is found distressed, stuck or injured.
Whether you’re surveying stock, mapping land, spraying crops or even herding cows to the milk shed, there are a host of jobs a drone can help with.
As you’d know, if there’s one thing that cows enjoy it’s consistency. So, when it comes to making something like milking the same day after day you can’t look past robotic milking. Available since the early nineties, it was an afterthought to a number of farmers who considered it clunky, tedious and a little left field to say the least. But, with the help of advanced technology, it’s slowly making a comeback – especially now when farmers are reporting greater yield from their cows.
It works by using lasers to guide milking equipment onto the cows’ teats and it means that farmers don’t have to rush themselves getting cows set up, moving or worry about anything dropping on them when the pressure is relieved from their udders.
The data the robotics collects from the cows can be used in all sorts of ways, telling farmers everything from their health and production levels to the frequency of milking. The robotic milking equipment can even tell farmers the quality and fat content of milk, or divert milk that isn’t safe for humans into a separate container to be fed to calves.