Precision Mineral Supplementation

80-90% of economic losses due to health-related issues in dairy cows appear in the critical transition period from 2-3 weeks before and until about 100 days after calving. Correct and adequate mineral supplementation in that period is of fundamental importance for challenging this development caused by the expanding use of Total Mixed Rations (TMR) or other standardised feeding and management systems, and would improve productivity. This use case involves precision supplementation of dairy cows, using an advanced mineral feeder, cloud-based services and data integration combined with the identification of cows via electronic ear tags - thereby allowing tailored and individual extra mineral supplementation. Minerals and vitamins are important for cows’ immune status, and feed additives can furthermore have wide impacts on environment and climate. The data gathered is displayed in a web application to provide easy access to monitor the feeding habits of individual cows, which may be an early indicator for health problems. As a result, this use case’s dairy management tool significantly contributes to animal welfare and the resource efficiency of farms.

4%

productivity increase

1500

cows trialled

-10%

health-related losses

Specific goals

  • Make precision farming a reality and establish a more sustainable food value chain;
  • Improve the quality of produce;
  • Reduce discharge of manure N and P nutrients;
  • Economise the consumption of input resources;
  • Mitigate environmental impact of the dairy sector;
  • Reduce economic losses in dairy production.

Expected results

  • Productivity increase 3.7%
  • Reduction of pesticide use through less feed usage
  • Trialled and demonstrated at 1,500 cows with ear tags at six dairy farms in three countries
  • Health-related losses reduced 10% 
  • Improved animal welfare

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