Maximising production through animal health insights

It can be hard for farmers to focus on production gains in amongst the day-to-day running of the farm. Taking into account time pressures, there is a constant need to bring farmers technological solutions that maximise time, boost productivity and leads to more enjoyable, simpler farming.

Farmlands and Allflex have teamed up to offer shareholders an innovative Animal Monitoring solution. It offers farmers actionable information on the health, reproductive, nutritional and wellbeing status of individual cows and groups.

Both Farmlands and Allflex know that for many farmers, new technology can seem quite daunting. Many assume the set up and learning curve will take too much of their time. However, technology is the forefront of innovation and to grow and maximise production in less time, farmers need to embrace technology.

Shareholders James and Rosie Pelham of Acer Properties have done just that. Milking 600 Friesian X cows as part of a Putaruru-based equity partnership, they started using the Allflex Animal Monitoring system in August 2018.

The Pelhams say the main reason for purchase was mating, with a goal to limit the time commitment by using the reliability and constant monitoring of the collars to identify cows that are on.

“We chose Allflex over competitors because it was proven technology and we preferred the software,” James says. “It also needed to work with Protrack drafting gates and we knew this system was working well with the gates on other farms.”

This year, the Pelhams decided to use short-gestation semen and make the move to full artificial breeding. The system allowed them to sell their bulls (now not required), with the proceeds helping to pay off a part of the system.

“Our submission rates are on par and the system works with the automatic gates to draft out the cows that are on heat each morning for us. Before the collars we simply used tail paint,” James says.

“We check it in the morning before milking to see how many cows are on and then check on mobile phone throughout the day and keep an eye on health alerts and rumination patterns.”

The Pelhams were proactive in teaching themselves about interpreting the data and the support available with the system. While they are still learning, the system has detected health issues before they become visible and has been a great back up for fresh cows.

“We use the data to check if some cows should stay in the colostrum herd longer,” James says. “We can see when the grass changes and there are visible changes on the rumination graph. This enables us to make adjustments with the ration to help with that.”

They recommend the Allflex system to anyone looking at improving their production and are looking to upgrade to the group monitoring plan, to get even more information. “The system does everything it says it can do and with the savings around mating by using short-gestation semen and selling bulls, it will easily pay for itself.”

For further information, contact your Farmlands Technical Field Officer, the friendly team at your local Farmlands store or click here.