Adoption of Precision Dairy Technology in Pennsylvania. Berks County 1238 County Welfare Road Leesport, PA 19533

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2 Adoption of Precision Dairy Technology in Pennsylvania Berks County 1238 County Welfare Road Leesport, PA 19533

3 Introduction to Precision Dairy Technology Robotic Milking Systems Activity and Health Monitoring Systems

4 Categories of Precision Technologies Collection and Management of Information Automation of a Repetitive Task In-line milk sensors, Body condition score cameras, Activity monitors Robotic milkers, Automatic calf feeders Automatic post-dip applicator, Robotic feeders, Robotic feed pusher

5 Ideal Precision Dairy Technology Explains an underlying biological process Can be translated to a meaningful action Cost effective Flexible, robust, reliable Simple and solution focused Information readily available to farmer Adapted from: J. Bewley, 2015 Precision Dairy Conference, Rochester, MN

6 Precision Dairy Technology Benefits Improve animal health and well-being Early detection Increased efficiency (labor, feed) Improved production or product quality Minimize adverse environmental impacts More objective measures Adapted from: J. Bewley, 2015 Precision Dairy Conference, Rochester, MN

7 Precision Dairy Technology Challenges Too many single measurement devices Lack of large scale commercial field trials and demonstrations Technology marketed without adequate interpretation of biological significance of data Too much information provided with no clear action plan Adapted from: J. Bewley, 2015 Precision Dairy Conference, Rochester, MN

8 Precision Dairy Technology Challenges Software not user-friendly Product goes to market too quickly Developed independently without consideration of integration with other technologies and farmer work patterns Adopted from: J. Bewley, 2015 Precision Dairy Conference, Rochester, MN

9 Robotic Milking Systems

10 Development of Robotic Milking Robotic milking systems first became commercially available in 1992 in Europe. Development motivated by desire to reduce labor requirements on dairy farms and improve the lifestyle of dairy farm families.

11 US and PA Adoption of Robotic Milking First introduced to the US in 2000 and PA in 2002 Currently about 45 farms in PA using robotic milking. Range in size from a single robot to 20 robots on a farm.

12 Lely Delaval AMS Galaxy GEA Boumatic What is available?

13 Who is using robots? Older farmers that want to continue farming, but not able to keep up with physical demands of milking. Younger farmers transitioning into managerial role on the farm. Farmers that would rather manage a machine than manage people or can not find reliable labor. Farms that want more flexibility in their daily routine.

14 Benefits of Robotic Milking To the dairy farmer. o Reduced labor and labor flexibility o More information and improved herd management To the cow o Low stress environment o Consistent milking routine

15 Challenges of Robotic Milking Feed and nutrition management Start-up o Learning the technology o Training the cows Working in the system Trusting the technology

16 How do they work?

17 What do the they measure? >120 values per cow per day Milk Production & Composition Milk Yield Milk Fat Milk Protein Milk Lactose Robot Use Efficiency Milking Time Robot Visits Box Time Pre-milk Time Milking Speed Milking Refusals Cow Health Activity Rumination Milk Temperature Feed Intake Cow Weight Milk Quality Milk Conductivity Milk Color Somatic Cell Count

18 Activity and Health Monitoring Systems

19 Activity Systems The first reported use of pedometers to measure cow activity associated with estrous was in Farris, E. J Activity of dairy cows during estrus. J. American. Vet. Med. Association. 125:

20 What do activity systems measure? Use accelerometers to measure vibrations or small changes in movement to measure changes in cow activity o Same technology used in smartphones, video games, Fitbit, and other electronics Some systems also monitor rumen function, temperature, cow location, cow position, eating time

21 What do the system include? Activity tags Antenna(s) Computer

22 Activity Tag Placement

23 What are the benefits of activity systems? Improved breeding management Greater insight into cow health/ early detection of health problems Decreased labor Reduced vet costs Increased production

24 What are the challenges of activity systems? Costs Time to keep system up to date Learning to use technology Incorporate information from systems into management of the dairy

25 How is the activity tag data used? Normal base-line activity level is determine. If a cow s activity level is outside of the normal range (either high or low) an alert is sent to the dairy farmer. The dairy farmer uses the system output to help make management decisions for that cow.

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30 Precision dairy technologies should not be used as a substitute for good cow management but as a tool to enhance cow management.

31 Mat Haan Extension Educator Penn State Extension Berks County

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