MSD Animal Health Ireland has launched its new integrated SenseHub solution for monitoring milk quality on dairy farms.

This sees the addition of the SenseHub In-Line Somatic Cell Count (SCC) Sensor and SenseHub in-line Milkplus Sensor to the ever-expanding SenseHub Ecosystem.

The new integrated offering expands the existing heat and health detection of the SenseHub monitoring system, to provide additional actionable insights on SCC and critical milk data such as milk yield, butterfat, protein, lactose, blood and conductivity.

Combined with SenseHub drafting solutions, MSD says that the SenseHub dairy system facilitates a fully-connected farm offering, significant cost and labour savings for the farmer, while improving milk quality and overall udder health.


Speaking at the launch of the SenseHub In-Line SCC Sensor and SenseHub In-Line Milkplus Sensor Jack O’Connor, ruminant business unit director with MSD Animal Health, outlined the challenges facing Irish dairy farmers, and how improved data collection can help make informed decisions to address these challenges.

He said: “If farmers cannot measure what is going on in the milking parlour, it is very hard for them to improve it.

“SenseHub dairy is designed to be farmer-centric with all of the data and information from the collars and milking technology going to one central place (SenseHub app) to allow farmers make more informed, data-driven decisions while giving them the freedom to farm.

“The power of this technology is that it gives the farmer the tools to be able to assess what is going on at an individual cow-level, rather than just at the herd-level.”

Jack O’Connor, ruminant business unit director, with MSD
Image: MSD

“Although the industry has made great progress in adopting technology on farms over the last few years, the use of data is still at a very early stage, but the possibilities are endless, and we look forward to continuing to add to the SenseHub dairy product range in the coming years.”

Integrated technology

The SenseHub In-Line Milkplus Sensor monitors critical milk data such as milk yield, butterfat, protein, lactose, blood, and conductivity, and provides instant visibility into milk trends for both individual cows and the entire herd.

In-line milkplus sensor

The SenseHub In-Line SCC sensor provides automated SCCs for individual cows at the milking.

It delivers clear, reliable results in under two minutes, allowing dairy farmers to confidently identify high SCC cases before each cow has finished milking, and act quickly to protect milk quality, herd health and profits.

The sensors use a simple traffic light system at each milking point allowing for earlier detection and timely control procedures, all while reducing unnecessary interactions.

The new launches from MSD are compatible with all milking parlours, and with the SenseHub neck collar or an ultra-lightweight ear tag which relays information back to a controller, which in turn sends alerts to the farmers’ phone or computer.

SenseHub is also fully integrated with the Allflex drafting gate which allows for automatic separation of cows in need of attention.

Speaking about the new offering Cara Sheridan, ruminant integration technical manager, with MSD said: “As a company we are really excited to be operating in this data-driven space.

“By integrating these SenseHub dairy systems, we have more information available from the farm which allows us to connect behaviours and give farmers useable and actionable insights in real time.

“We now have the ability to collect data from every single milking and from every single cow.

“The SenseHub SCC sensors not only provide a visual alert at time of milking to allow for early intervention, but the data is also stored in the central SenseHub system which allows farmers to draft animals and keep them separate to avoid any spread.”

Cara Sheridan, ruminant integration technical manager, with MSD
Image: MSD

“Not only does the system allow for catching any issues early, but there is no interruption to milking time due to the in-line technology.”

Milk quality

The system is not yet international committee for animal recording (ICAR) approved, but according to Jack O’Connor approval is being sought for components of the system.

He noted that this does not replace milk recording in the short-term, but what it is doing is offering farmers more information to improve milk quality on farms.

Giving an outline of the cost of the milkplus system for monitoring milk data such as milk yield, butterfat, protein, lactose, blood, and conductivity is in the region of €900 to €1,300/unit.

The SCC sensor which is slightly more expensive is going to range from €1,500 to €1,800/unit, according to O’Connor.

He said the reason for the ranges was due to different milking parlours, having a lot of moving parts.