7 ways activity monitors can pay off in a herd

Activity monitoring technology is beneficial to both you and your cows.

With today’s milk prices in several regions, investing in activity monitoring technology might seem like an unnecessary expense. But, the reality is, activity monitoring can help dairy herds of all sizes maximize their labor and resources, a smart investment at any milk price.
“Maximizing resources is critical when margins are tight and activity monitors can do just that,” says Tara Bohnert, business development manager for Nedap North America. “Activity monitors can observe and identify heats, unusual behavior and signs of disease, allowing you to reallocate labor resources elsewhere. An added bonus is that they show more than the human eye can see and never call in sick for work.”

Today’s activity monitoring technology offers you more control than ever before. At their fingertips, farmers can quickly identify sick cows, cows in heat or see the exact location of specific cows in the barn. They can check cows and make decisions or take action, even when they’re away from the farm.

Here are seven ways activity monitoring can pay-off in a herd.

  1. Improved labor efficiency
    Activity monitoring tracks how each cow is doing, what her heat status is and where her location is 24/7. Instead of spending time checking for heats and herd health or searching for cows, employees can spend time tackling management areas begging for more focus on the farm.
  2. Accurate record-keeping and real-time decision making
    Without data, you just have an opinion. Activity monitoring accurately records individual cow and group behavior. It offers insight at any time and takes the guesswork out to make the best decisions. If something is wrong, an alert is triggered. Immediate steps can be taken to correct the situation. No more waiting until morning or afternoon chores.
  3. Reduced health issues and associated costs
    State-of-the art systems like Nedap CowControl monitor eating, rumination and inactive behavior. They can detect the signs of diseases like ketosis, subclinical mastitis and pneumonia a few days before their symptoms are visible to the human eye. This allows you to save time and money by catching and treating a sick cow before she needs medical treatment, shows a drop in milk production or needs to be culled.
  4. Improved conception rates
    Dairy farms with well-managed activity monitoring systems see improved conception rates. Sensors identify cows in heat and their optimal breeding time more accurately, which ensures effective insemination with the highest chance of conception. As a result, pregnancy rates and  calving intervals are optimized.
  5. A more productive and sustainable herd
    Due to improved fertility KPI’s, as mentioned above, dairy farmers can achieve more peak productive days per cow. Early detection of health issues prevents unnecessary loss of milk production and extends your cow’s life span and number of lactations. This way, you get more out of your cows and have more milk in the tank.
  6. Improved cow comfort
    Activity monitoring systems provide herd performance trends that show the impact of adjustments in housing, handling and nutrition. By doing so, they can positively influence cow comfort. Also, sensors ensure that farmers know exactly which cows require special attention and, equally important, which ones don’t. A stress-free environment can be offered to them, without their routines being disturbed.
  7. More time to enjoy life
    Activity monitors are constantly watching over the herd, giving you the confidence to leave the farm and participate in things that are important to you and your family.

Using actionable data helps you better your best. Making the most of the activity monitoring technology available to you will bring the seven benefits to life.

Even in down economies, farms using Nedap CowControl report it only takes 1-3 years for the technology to pay for itself. And that doesn’t account for the peace of mind you get with the system.