Make more moments matter
Gone are those long, tiring AI days, says dairy farmer Trevor Shanahan, who started using a cow monitoring system early in 2021.
“It’s an easier way of doing things and it allows us to pay more attention to the care of individual cows,” Trevor said.
“We have better control. We can keep an eye on them, and nothing slips through the cracks.”
A fourth-generation dairy farmer in south-west Victoria, Trevor — as well as his wife Sarah, and parents Pat and Trish — are all actively involved on the farm. One of his young daughters might take over one day.
Trevor’s life has changed since using cow monitoring, and he’s not the only one.
Across the pond — in Southland, New Zealand — the life of dairy farmer Dayna Cunningham has also been made easier due to cow monitoring technology.
“It enables us to have one less person in the cowshed,” she said.
“So, we haven’t had to have that person standing on the stand picking cows, which then allows us to take care of other jobs during mating that we wouldn’t normally be able to do.”
Family man and dairy farmer Sander Pentermann, from the United States, agreed.
He said using technology wasn’t only better for your business, it also contributed to your personal life.
“In your house, with your kids at a sports event — you can still monitor, you always have a bird’s-eye view of what’s going on,” Sander said.
“It gives us more freedom, more opportunity to spend time with my family.”
Better for everyone
Better control, more time for other odd jobs — which there are always plenty of on any farm — and a more fulfilled personal life, thanks to peace of mind. Cow monitoring really does seem to have it all from a farmer’s perspective. But what about the cows and production?
According to South African farmer Pieter Barnard, using a cow monitoring system can even save lives.
“In the past we would have to physically walk through the groups every day to detect sick, cycling and lame cows,” he said.
“Currently, we can flag the cows on the system, instantly decide and act early on.”
Tiffany Schneider, from Paulus Dairy in the US state of Wisconsin, has been using the CowManager system for years.
“We have decreased our labour bills because we’re not locking up these cows as much and decreased in our veterinary bill, too,” Tiffany said.
“We’re letting them keep up with their routine, which is what they like to do. That has also given us time to do other things that maybe weren’t getting done as much before.
“It has freed up hours within our day to better manage the cows.”
Accurate and efficient
Not only does CowManager save time and money on labour, but it also allows farmers to manage their herd and business more accurately and efficiently.
US farm owner Chuck Fahey said they were “picking up cows that we normally wouldn’t see”.
“You can’t be out here all the time. CowManager’s out here all the time,” he said.
“And your employees are busy enough milking and moving cows. They don’t have time always to write down one. Whereas CowManager gives you that little window when they need to breed them, and it just works spectacular.“
Ruurd Dijkstra, from the Waikato in New Zealand, said using CowManager had made a huge difference in his business management.
“In the past we’ve had some less motivated people that didn’t really look at what was happening or did not really know what to look for,” he said.
“An automation system looks at cows 24/7, which no person ever can do as well as the computer does.
“We found that things got a lot more accurate, and it saves us an awful lot of time.”
For more information, visit: www.cowmanager.com