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Precision Dairy Farming: The Next Dairy Marvel? Jeffrey Bewley PhD PAS Jeffrey Bewley, PhD, PAS 15 ème Carrefour des Productions Animales

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Jun 28, 2018



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  • Precision Dairy Farming:The Next Dairy Marvel?

    Jeffrey Bewley PhD PASJeffrey Bewley, PhD, PAS

    15me Carrefour des Productions Animales

  • What is Kentucky Famous For?What is Kentucky Famous For?

  • Kentucky Dairy Industry

    90,000 dairy cows across 958 dairy farms90,000 dairy cows across 958 dairy farms

  • However You Say It!However You Say It!

    Thank you very muchMerci beaucoup

    Vielen Dank Dank u zeer

  • Technological MarvelsTechnological Marvels

    Tremendous technological progress in Tremendous technological progress in dairy farming (i.e. genetics, nutrition,

    )reproduction, disease control)

    M d d i f h b Modern dairy farms have been described as technological marvels (Philpot, 2003)

    Th t t h l i l l i th The next technological marvel in the dairy industry may be in Precision Dairy Farming

  • Changing Dairy LandscapeChanging Dairy Landscape

    Fewer, larger dairy operations

    Narrow profit margins

    Increased feed and labor costs

    Cows are managed by fewerCows are managed by fewer skilled workers

  • Consumer-Centric ApproachConsumer Centric Approach Continuous quality assuranceContinuous quality assurance

    Natural or organic foodsNatural or organic foods

    Pathogen-free foodPathogen free food

    Zoonotic disease transmissionZoonotic disease transmission

    Reducing the use of medical treatmentsReducing the use of medical treatments

    Increased emphasis on animal well-beingIncreased emphasis on animal well-being

  • Information EraInformation Era

    Unlimited on-farm data storage Unlimited on-farm data storage

    Faster computers allow for more Faster computers allow for more sophisticated on-farm data mining

    Technologies adopted in larger industries (i.e. automobile or personal computing industries)personal computing industries) reduce costs for applications in

    ll i d t ismaller industries

  • PDF: Key ElementsPDF: Key Elements Using technologies to measure g g

    physiological, behavioral, and production indicatorsp

    Supplement the observational ppactivities of skilled herdspersons

    Focus on health and performance at the cow levelthe cow level

    Optimize economic, social, andOptimize economic, social, and environmental farm performance

  • PDF: Key ElementsPDF: Key Elements

    Make more timely and informed decisions Make more timely and informed decisions

    Minimize medication (namely antibiotics) Minimize medication (namely antibiotics) through preventive health

    Precision Dairy Farming is inherently an interdisciplinary field incorporating conceptsinterdisciplinary field incorporating concepts of informatics, biostatistics, ethology, economics animal breeding animaleconomics, animal breeding, animal husbandry, animal nutrition and process engineeringengineering

  • Precision Dairy Practice M t L lManagement Levels

    Management by exception (i.e. low milk yield, activity) Risk management (i.e. alerts on withhold cows) Record keeping (i.e. breeding details, quality



    Proactive management strategies (i.e. predicted calving, predicted heat)

    Intra-herd comparison (i.e. breaking herd into virtual groups)


    Long-term decision making and benchmarking (i.e. response to grain, achievement of cow performance targets, labor efficiency)Strategic

    Adapted from Eastwood, 2008

  • PDF BenefitsPDF Benefits

    Increased efficiency Increased efficiency Reduced costs Improved product quality

    Mi i i d d i t l Minimized adverse environmental impacts

    Improved animal health and well-being Risk analysis and risk management Risk analysis and risk management More objective (less observer bias and


  • Ideal PDF TechnologyIdeal PDF Technology

    E l i d l i bi l i l Explains an underlying biological process Can be translated to a meaningful action Low-cost Flexible robust reliable Flexible, robust, reliable Information readily available to farmer Farmer involved as a co-developer at all stages

    of development, not just beta-testing (Eastwood, 2008)

    Commercial demonstrations Continuous improvement and feedback loops

  • PDF ExamplesPDF Examples Precision (individual) feeding( ) g Regular milk recording (yield and

    t )components) PedometersPedometers Milk conductivity indicators Automatic estrus detection Body weight

    T t Temperature

  • Recent or Future TechnologiesRecent or Future Technologies

    Lying behaviorLying behavior Ruminal pH Heart rate Global positioning systems Global positioning systems Feeding behavior Blood analyses

    R i i Respiration rates Rumination timeRumination time Locomotion scoring using image analysis

  • AfiMilkAfiMilk

    Afilab milk anlayzer Afilab-milk anlayzer Fat, protein, lactose, SCC,


    Pedometer + (lying behavior)

    Fat protein ratios-ketosisFat protein ratios ketosis and SARA IDH t d t ti Heat detection

    Mastitis detection Calving time prediction

  • Milk measurementsMilk measurements Progesterone

    Heat detection Pregnancy detectionPregnancy detection

    LDH enzymeE l titi d t ti Early mastitis detection

    BHBA Indicator of subclinical ketosis

    Urea Urea Protein status

  • Monitor Parameter Measured3-D acceleration/movement BehaviorElectromyogram Muscle activitySkin potential Vegetative-nervous reactionSkin resistance Vegetative-emotional reactionSkin temperature/Environmental temperature


  • Body Condition Scoringy g

    100% of predicted BCS were within 0.50 points of actual BCS. 93% were within 0.25 points of actual BCS.

  • Body Condition Scoring

    BCS 2.50 BCS 3.50Predicted BCS 2.63Posterior Hook Angle 150.0

    Predicted BCS 3.32Posterior Hook Angle 172.1

    Hook Angle 116.6 Hook Angle 153.5

  • IceTag Activity MonitorIceTag Activity Monitor On-farm evaluation of lying time:On farm evaluation of lying time:

    Identification of cows requiring q gattention (lameness, illness, estrus)

    Assessment of facility Assessment of facility functionality/cow comfort

    Research exploring lying time milk yield interaction

    Potential metric to assess animal well-beingg

  • Possible PDF TechnologiesPossible PDF Technologies Stress levels (direct or indirect)Stress levels (direct or indirect)


    Environment gas levels (i.e. methane)

    Air born pathogen levels


    Z Zoonoses

    Image analysis for anatomical Image analysis for anatomical measurements

  • Genetic EvaluationsGenetic Evaluations

    Precision Dairy Farming technologies Precision Dairy Farming technologies may provide information previously

    funavailable for genetic evaluations

    N i d t it (i f d i t k New or improved traits (i.e. feed intake, lameness, BCS, heat tolerance, fertility)

    Improved data accuracy (i.e. yield, fat, t i SCC h lth t it )protein, SCC, health traits)

    I l i f f ti t it ? Image analysis for conformation traits?

  • Genetic EvaluationsGenetic Evaluations

    Could bull studs supplement Could bull studs supplement technology costs in large progeny test h d i h f d t ?herds in exchange for data?

    Reduction in data collection costs Reduction in data collection costs

    May be a new form of productMay be a new form of product differentiation

    More data, fewer erroneous measurementsmeasurements

  • GenomicsGenomics

    Precision Dairy Farming/genomic Precision Dairy Farming/genomic synergies may lead to improvement in health traits

    For some traits, not yet able to account for genetic variationg

    But, need enough phenotypic data to , g p ypmatch the SNP (single nucleotide polymorphisms) data firstpolymorphisms) data first

  • Potential LimitationsPotential Limitations Slow adoption ratesS o adopt o ates Who pays for what?

    A i l ID d Animal ID read errors Animal ID transfers Equipment failure Data transfer errors/bottlenecks Data transfer errors/bottlenecks Manufacturer differences Sensor drift? Quality controlQ y Trait heritability limits

  • PDF Reality CheckPDF Reality Check Maybe not be #1 priority for commercialMaybe not be #1 priority for commercial

    dairy producers (yet)

    Many technologies are in infancy stage

    Not all technologies are good investments

    Economics must be examined

    Sociological factors must be considered

  • Purdue/Kentucky Investment ModelPurdue/Kentucky Investment Model

    Investment decisions for PDF technologiesFl ibl ti l b d t f ifi Flexible, partial-budget, farm-specific

    Simulates dairy for 10 years Simulates dairy for 10 years Includes hundreds of random values Measures benefits from

    i t i d ti it i limprovements in productivity, animal health, and reproduction, p

    Models both biology and economics

  • Automatic BCS InvestmentAutomatic BCS Investment

    Benefits Benefits Reduced ketosis, milk fever, and metritis Improved conception rate at first service Improved efficiency from minimizing BCS p y g

    loss CostsCosts

    InvestmentV i bl Variable costs

    Management levelg 1000 simulations

  • Net Present Value (NPV) Si l ti R ltSimulation Results


    Positive NPV

    Negative NPVNegative NPV

    86,60%Results from 1000 simulationsPositive NPV=go decision/make investment

  • Tornado Diagram for F t Aff ti N t P t V lFactors Affecting Net Present Value

    NPV establishesestablishes

    what the value of future

    earnings from ea gs oa project is in

    today's money.

    BMPAF-Best Management Practice Adherence Factor

  • Reasons for Slow PDF AdoptionReasons for Slow PDF Adoption

    Reason % #Not familiar with technologies that are available 54.89% 101Undesirable cost to benefit ratio 41.85% 77Too much information provided without knowing what to do with it 35.87% 66N t h ti t d t h l 30 43% 56Not enough time to spend on technology 30.43% 56Lack of perceived economic value 29.89% 55Too difficult or complex to use 28 80% 53Too difficult or complex to use 28.80% 53Poor technical support/training 28.26% 52Better alternatives/easier to accomplish manually 23 37% 43Better alternatives/easier to accomplish manually 23.37% 43Failure in fitting with farmer patterns of work 21.74% 40Fear of technology/computer illiteracy 21.20% 39gy p yNot reliable or flexible enough 17.93% 33

    Russell and Bewley, 2009

  • Sociological FactorsSociological Factors

    Labor savings and potential quality of life Labor savings and potential quality of life improvements affect investment decisions (Cantin 2008)(Cantin, 2008)

    Insufficient market research Farmers overwhelmed by too many options

    (Banhazi and Black, 2009)(Banhazi and Black, 2009) Which technology should I adopt? End up adopting those that are interesting

    or where they have an expertise Not necessarily the most profitable ones

  • Technology PitfallsTechnology Pitfalls Plug and play, Plug and pray, or Plug and g p y, g p y, g


    Technologies go to market too quickly

    not fully-developed not fully-developed

    software not user-friendly

    Developed independently without consideration f i t ti ith th t h l i dof integration with other technologies and

    farmer work patterns

    Too many single measurement systems

  • Technology PitfallsTechnology Pitfalls

    Inappropriate process models Inappropriate process models

    Lack of large-scale commercial field Lack of large-scale commercial field trials and demonstrations

    Technology marketed without adequate interpretation of biological significanceinterpretation of biological significance of data

    Information provided with no clear ti laction plan

  • Australian Case StudyAustralian Case Study R&D tends to focus on the device rather than

    the management system within which the device will be used

    Return on investment is only achieved th h b t i t i ththrough subsequent improvement in the farming system and it is here that people are k key

    Not enough focus on farmer adaptation andNot enough focus on farmer adaptation and learning

    N d f l d i f l Need more formal and informal user networks Eastwood, 2008

  • ConclusionsConclusions

    New era in dairy management New era in dairy management

    Exciting technologies available and in g gdevelopment

    Technologies may have considerable impact Technologies may have considerable impact on genetic evaluations

    Investment profitability depends heavily on management after purchaseg p

    Adoption rates affected by sociological f t d t h l d l tfactors and technology development strategies

  • Any Questions?

    Jeffrey Bewley, PhD, PAS407 W P Garrigus Building407 W.P. Garrigus BuildingLexington, KY 40546-0215

    Phone: 859-257-7543Fax: