Animal Monitoring Technology at World Dairy Expo

Taylor Hillman Dairy & Livestock, Technology

SCR Dairy was at the World Dairy Expo and talked with AgNet West about its animal monitoring technology. SCR Dairy says the technology is like a fitbit for cows.

SCR dairy says its animal monitoring system tracks the heat, health and nutritional insights farmers need to know about all of their cows. The data is recorded by a collar worn by the cow and is uploaded to a centralized computer of the dairy. That info can be accessed by mobile devices and can let producers know when an issue might be coming.

From SCR dairy:
Dairy farmers trust SCR Dairy rumination and activity monitoring technology to provide accurate, dependable, actionable data about their herd’s reproductive and health status. To maintain this trust and deliver on expanding producer needs, the SCR Dairy team continues to elevate its hardware and software experiences so that users can remove even more guesswork and inconsistency from daily dairy management.

“We are committed to continually providing users with the latest innovations and upgrades,” says SCR Dairy General Manager Tom Breunig. “Our research and development team continues to provide SCR users with the best possible herd management solutions, and we are proud to share our latest advancements.”

What’s New?
The new, durable HR-LDn tag features the same functionality as the HR-LD tag in that it monitors heat and health parameters over long distances. It also offers improved mechanics and electronics. These upgrades include a new sensor and NFC chip for better performance and integration with stick readers—which allow users to read RFID tags and SCR tags and pair them electronically for data entry ease.

The device includes improved software, making it more reliable with better upgrade capabilities. Furthermore, the device’s software combination allows for greater insight into the time budget of a cow. Users can see:

Real-time status of groups and which cows are
The impact of small changes in milking times, feeding times, ration management and the daily routine imposed on cows.

New dashboards allow users to access the data via their phones on HealthyCow24™ and can be interfaced with a number of third-party options including enhanced two-way integration with DC305.

Software Suite
Available with existing and new SCR DataFlow™ II, Heatime® Pro and Heatime HR-LD systems, and integrated with the SCR HealthyCow24 solution, the following suite of applications enables users to get even more value from their SCR system:

The Real-time Group Routine application provides real-time updates on unusual activity and rumination that may indicate disruptions to routine, helping to identify and address groups requiring attention.
The Group Consistency application evaluates long-term rumination consistency trends to provide more specific insight into reactions to nutrition and feeding changes to help spot problems and monitor recovery.
The ProCalve™ suite of applications provides expanded pre- and postcalving distress alerts to help farmers safeguard cows’ health in the critical time around calving and minimize mortality.
The Heat Index on Heatime HR enables better breeding decisions and reduces false positives.
The Pregnancy Probability application provides an additional tool on top of the Heat Index to help maximize A.I. success and predict if a cow may become open.
Heat Stress and Group Monitoring Module features climate sensors connected to the SCR system and compares panting with rumination, eating and THI to identify the impact of within-day and seasonal heat trends on cow comfort and production—and aide in improving daily and long-term heat abatement strategies.

Integrated Systems
The SCR Milking Control System offers users a way to integrate accurate milk weights and parlor management with their SCR activity and rumination system. SCR milking controls and Sort Gates provide a complete solution for improving time management, cow profitability and labor efficiency, all from one computer. The FreeFlow™ milk sensors provide consistent takeoff, flow controlled pulsation and accurate milk weights with minimal maintenance to improve udder health.

“The ability to make better-informed decisions about the health and reproductive status of individual cows, groups and the entire herd, means that dairy farmers continue to improve productivity, reduce costs, gain more control and, ultimately, achieve more sustainable dairy farming,” concludes Jerry Slattery, SCR Dairy milking integration manager. “Our animal monitoring technology provides a producer with peace of mind while enhancing the dairy’s productivity and return on investment.”