From the Yard to the Milking Shed: New Technology Enhancing Dairy Farming Safety


  Added 3 weeks ago

  By Hawke's Bay Future Farming Trust

From the Yard to the Milking Shed: New Technology Enhancing Dairy Farming Safety

A Mid Canterbury dairy farmer, Rick Butler, is experiencing increased efficiency and safety on his farm thanks to new technology.

Butler is participating in a pilot scheme developed by Livestock Visibility Solutions, which simplifies cow movement from the yard to the milking shed using artificial intelligence. The system, known as Flow, employs cameras to monitor and track each animal, controlling the backing gate automatically.

"Previously, staff manually operated the gate, often causing cows to be tightly packed, which isn't good for them," Butler explained. He noted that the new system has significantly improved the calmness of the cows in the holding yard.

The technology has not only reduced labor but also increased milk production due to reduced stress on the cows. "Less stressed cows produce more milk, and even minor issues like foot problems can significantly reduce milk output. The system quickly pays for itself," Butler added.

Since the pilot began in December 2023, the 10 participating farms have seen an 18% reduction in milking time, a 9% decrease in power usage, and at least a 15% drop in animal injuries.

Richard Appleby, CEO of Livestock Visibility Solutions, emphasized that the system prevents cows from being crowded or stressed due to human error. "We aimed to address farmers' frustrations with milking times. The feedback was overwhelmingly in favor of improving the process, and the difference with Flow is remarkable," Appleby stated.

Watch the video here.


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