An on-farm automated ‘early warning system’ for disease in dairy cows is one of the new types of sensor being discussed in the Pollinator on 22 September at Russell Smith Farms, near Duxford.
The system, developed by Omnisense, uses a tag on the cow’s collar to relay information every few seconds via sensors within the cattle shed. It can identify changes in behaviour that provide an early indication that the animal has an illness.
Andy Thurman, CEO of Omnisense explains: “We have developed an accurate position and behaviour monitoring system which is easy to deploy within a shed and can be used to detect the early stages of disease.
“Small collar mounted radio sensors on the cows provide information on individual and herd behaviour. This is uniquely combined with knowledge of every cows position, enabling the software to establish the normal activity pattern for each animal, making it easier to identify abnormalities in behaviour. The farmer will be alerted to these changes by text or email.”
Currently disease detection relies heavily on direct observation of symptoms, so the disease can already be affecting the milk before it is diagnosed. For example, mastitis, an inflammation of the mammary gland and udder is easily transferred from shared milking machinery. As milk from infected cows cannot be sold, the use of Omnisense’s technology could reduce the spread of infection and loss of income.
In addition to the presentations this Pollinator will use a speed dating format which provides facilitated networking, allowing people to quickly connect with others that have a mutual interest.
For more details see events.