From real-time milk production records to activity monitors for cows, the US dairy industry is at the forefront of agricultural innovation and technology.
Experts gathered to discuss emerging trends at the National Holstein Convention this summer.
Dating back nearly 140 years, Holstein Association USA has a long and rich history that naturally leads to an innovative future. That’s according to expert Jeffrey Bewley.
“The dairy industry was big data before big data was a cool term. Everything we’ve done in terms of DHI, genetic evaluations, balancing nutrient rations, etc. big data. So we’ve actually been a leader in the dairy industry and how to use data for decades. Now we’re taking it to the next level.
Bewley is an Analytics and Innovations Scientist for the Holstein Association USA, and led a discussion on emerging dairy trends and technologies at the National Holstein Convention this summer.
“I think analytics or using dairy farm data is the next breakthrough in science. And that’s the key to moving forward and being competitive for dairy farms. We have so many sources of data available to us and the data tells stories that could help us better understand how to maximize dairy farm profitability and sustainability.
Dairy farmer Mac Drees of Wisconsin agrees.
“We live in such a lucky time, you know, in the dairy industry, where there’s so much data, there’s so many numbers, we just have to use it. We just have to put them in the right shapes, we just have to use them.
And Drees gives a concrete example of how his farm started doing just that.
“My grandfather, when he worked on the farm, he, you know, at the end of the night, he would dress the best cows with protein, and maybe the cow that dries up, she doesn’t get of protein because it’s not time for her to be in full production. So what the robots do is take that data and say, hey, you’re 25 days out of milk, you give 150 pounds of milk, then we’re going to give you more of a protein supplement.
As technology evolves, it also becomes more profitable “I think there are opportunities to invest in technology and new sources of data that are perhaps less expensive with higher returns. If we can invest $500 here, a thousand dollars here, $500 here, it can have a huge impact on the operation. And that’s probably the most interesting thing for me.
Even with so much data, the Holstein Association never loses sight of what is ultimately most important: the registered dairy cow.
“That’s what we’re analyzing, and we need to understand and recognize that animal’s individuality and appreciate how best to care for that animal. That’s one way to help that animal, but it’s central to everything we do.
You can learn more by visiting Holstein USA dot com.