Recent decades have seen the number of dairy farms decrease dramatically worldwide. Dairy farm size, on the other hand, has increased as producers are attempting to take advantage of economies of scale which can only be attained in larger operations. |
Considering that most of the world’s national economies are quite unstable due to the global economic crisis, dairy farm operations can be characterized by shrinking margins as government deregulation is increasing volatility of agricultural commodity prices.
These trends are creating a drive for efficiency as even small improvements in management efficiency have a profound impact on farm operations, resulting of course in a much higher level of efficiency.
Efficient management in larger farms has traditionally taken the route of managing the herd on a group basis. But now with the appearance of new precision dairy management technologies many industry participants forecast that management focus will return to the individual cow which is without a doubt the best course of action.
Precision dairy management technologies encompass the use of milk yield and milk quality measurement devices, activity monitoring and rumination monitoring sensors, milk component monitoring, temperature and heat rate recording and daily weight measurement systems, with all these systems being devised to place all the most important pieces of information right in front of farm managers who are given the ability to make all the tweaks and changes needed for increasing productivity.
The key objectives of precision dairy management technologies are maximizing individual cow production, early detection of disease, treatment monitoring and minimizing the use of veterinary treatment. All farm managers are well aware that performing all these tasks would be completely unfeasible if they were to use traditional methods, but this is why precision dairy management solutions represent the best option.
The use of precision dairy management technologies provides unprecedented insight to cow condition and milk production performance and allows producers to make informed decisions and incorporate automatic labor saving tools such as sorting gates and automated individual feeders which result in better productivity, expense reduction and improved profitability.
While traditionally, the use of precision dairy management technologies is only at its initial phases of market penetration. It is estimated that only a fraction of high-yield dairy farms in the world have some form of technology deployed. One reason for the minimal penetration is the inaccuracy of previous generations of precision dairy management technologies. As newer technologies are introduced to the market and are proving themselves in the field, adoption rates are increasing rapidly as more and more managers from all countries around the world realize the true potential of deploying quality precision dairy management solutions.
The 2009 downturn in the dairy industry raised the awareness of many producers to the importance of efficient management to their long term survival. We expect to see considerable growth in the use of precision dairy management technologies as farmers learn of the benefits they provide to their efficiency and bottom line in this volatile industry that rewards farms that provide quality products with the right price tags.
For more resources about herd management or about dairy herd management or even about heat detection, please review these links.
Related Articles -
herd management, dairy herd management, heat detection,