Project Details

Moo cows

Precision Dairy Cow Welfare and production management

This project seeks to utilise new technologies to stimulate farmer knowledge development.

(WP1) Precision Management of Dairy Cows Bolus Project

Rumen temperature data will be linked with cow health and welfare, reproductive management and milk production data. Joining up the datasets should enable more timely and more precise management interventions.

The Bella Ag system will be used across four dairy herds demonstrating different systems of production; other parameters will be recorded including temperature, wind, precipitation and relative humidity. The project also aims to confirm the on-farm practicality of the system. Smart data processing expertise will be used to review data collect systems and make recommendations on further processing to produce valuable metrics.

Precision management is a key goal for farming in order to maximise efficiency. Intensive dairy farms lend themselves to the collection of precision data, but there has been less take-up of this technology on grassland dairy farms. Furthermore, the effect of greater environmental variation on grassland farms likely means that precision data will reveal somewhat different relationships with other animal or environmental variables.

For further information, please contact Rachel Abrahall at; rachel.abrahall@duchy.ac.uk / 07970985914

(WP2) Passive Cooling in Cow Sheds

A project based at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall is scoping out innovative, low-cost technologies and products to aid heat removal from livestock buildings.

Experts are monitoring heat stress in dairy cows, in tandem with developing thin graphite oxide panels which have powerful heat-absorption properties and can be hung from building roofs or used as ‘wallpaper’.

The improved temperature control achieved through such ‘passive cooling’ could raise milk yields and improve animal health and welfare.

The captured heat could also be re-used on farms for such purposes as heating water or electricity generation.

To find out more please email Alex Huke at a.r.huke@exeter.ac.uk / 01326 255844.