Censortec Nedap CowControl a vital part in Roscommon dairy herd expansion

Censortec Ireland will showcase the Nedap CowControl system at the National Ploughing Championships at Block 1; Row 1; Stand 11, just inside Gate 1.

This year Censortec will give away a Nedap CowControl system. This amazing prize will be raffled before the end of the year and entries can be made online at: www.censortec.com; or by visiting the Censortec stand at National Ploughing Championships 2019.

Enda Doran, a Roscommon farmer, is realising the benefit of using Censortec Nedap CowControl and considers it a vital part of his dairy business to expand into the future.

To see Enda’s full story, watch the video below.

Enda is milking a 120 spring calving British Friesian Holstein cross dairy cows on the Galway Roscommon border.

Enda converted from sheep and suckler farming in 2016 to dairy. Enda is really satisfied with the system which has made a huge impact on his work life balance and the results on the farm.

The ideal target for an Irish dairy farm is a submission rate of +90%. This is 90% of the herd coming into heat and inseminated in the first three weeks from the beginning of the breeding season.

This year, Enda has achieved a submission rate of 97% in the first three weeks of breeding and he has done this in a much easier manner.

Work-life balance

Enda has found the Nedap CowControl system has helped him with regards to a work-life balance.

Previous to using the Censortec system, Enda found that he needed to spend a lot more time in the yard and field watching and monitoring cows.

Now that he has 100% trust in the system he can spend more time with Adam, Emily and Lauren away from the farm, knowing that the farm is being monitored by Nedap CowControl.

“The reality in Ireland is that the average heat detection rates on the national herd in the first three weeks is approximately 65% and the cost associated with a high submission rate and low pregnancy rate are extremely significant,” said Donagh Crowley of Censortec.

“Nedap CowControl is the global leader in heat detection aids and the system, coupled with the correct farm support and training, could benefit a 100-cow dairy herd by up to €8,000/annum.”

“The three main areas that make us market leaders are the quality of the product, the longevity of the product and the cost of ownership over the lifetime of the product.”

Heat detection benefits at a glance:

  • Increased heat detection rates;
  • Increased submission rates (reduced missed heats);
  • Increased conception rates (better timing of AI);
  • Increased pregnancy rates;
  • Shorter calving intervals;
  • More days in milk;
  • More milk per cow;
  • Reduction of fertility/insemination costs;
  • Peace of mind with more control over your herd’s reproduction.

The system

Health monitoring to keep cows healthy, fertile and productive

Sensors can show dairy farmers more than the expert eye can see. They often detect health issues before their clinical signs and symptoms are visible to the human eye.

Nedap’s SmartTag Neck – attached to the cow’s collar – constantly keeps track of her eating, ruminating and inactive behaviour, as well as general activity.

It provides health alerts for cows that need urgent attention and shows a list of cows that need to be checked that day, allowing dairy farmers to treat health issues before they become problems.

Pre-breeding checks

To maximise efficiency, farmers need to monitor cows prior to the breeding season. All cows not cycling by day 42 need to be examined by a vet.

Studies have shown that up to 50% of these cows that are examined were in heat, but it was missed. These are cows that will return a significant cost saving on vet fees.

The Censortec Nedap CowControl system will monitor every cow in the herd for: heat activity; resumption of cyclicity; and conception.

Heat activity monitoring

There are only 1.5 mounts/hour/cow and each mount lasts four-to-six seconds. A cow’s heat lasts six-to-eight hours.

Collectively, these numbers tell us cows are in heat for one-third of the day and spend just three-to-five minutes standing to be mounted. That’s a very small window to catch a heat.

Heat activity of cows tends to be lowest during feeding and milking times. Approximately 70% of mounting occurs between 7:00pm and 7:00am when cows have limited distractions. That’s 70% of the herd coming into heat during the night-time.

“The system alerts me to each individual animal’s activity instantly on my phone” said Enda . “Previously, we had tail-painted cows but we did not find it a success.

Conception

“Inseminating cows at the right time matters to your dairy’s bottom line, so it’s important to catch cows in heat when it’s most productive to breed them,” said Sean Crowley of Censortec.

“Activity monitors are a tool to track heats 24/7 so you don’t have to spend time watching for heats or worry about missing a heat.

“However, to catch cows in heat, cows need to physically show their heats. Having appropriate environmental and management protocols in place will help ensure you never miss a single heat.”

To learn more about heat detection with activity monitoring systems and how they can help your farm reach its productivity goals, visit: www.censortec.com.

The bottom line

As it is well documented at this stage, each missed heat can cost an Irish dairy farmer a minimum of €250. Enda reiterates this and maintains that he will have a return on investment in a very short time.

The Nedap CowControl is extremely accurate and indicates to the farmer the optimum time for insemination, therefore boosting submission rates and reducing the calving interval.

The system can monitor a herd with regard to eating and rumination, allowing the farmer to act quickly with regard to sick cows and therefore significantly reducing veterinary costs. If the percentage of sick cows in the herd is reduced, it will also mean more milk in the tank.

The reduction of bulls on a farm also has a significant cost benefit, but can also make your farm a much safer place.

“These are only some of the benefits of the system,” said Sean. “It is very exciting to be bringing the Nedap CowControl system to Irish farmers.

“Nedap is and has always been the pioneers of animal sensor technology, with over 40 years of experience in the field. Come and see for yourself.”

This year Nedap Augmented Reality will also be showcased on the stand.

This new technology brings the farmer’s real world and digital information together. It enriches his field of vision with the right cow insights at the right time and place.

Actions can be performed and registered using hand gestures or voice commands. This enables farmers to interact with technology in the most natural way possible and makes them more efficient, productive and successful in their work.

Further information

Censortec is located at Block 1; Row 1; Stand 11 just inside Gate 1. Don’t forget to click on: www.censortec.com for more information and to enter the competition.