DeLaval is preparing to showcase its new dairy herd management system at the Irish National Ploughing Championships this September.

‘Herd Navigator’ is designed to provide producers with an enhanced overview of their entire herd whilst offering specific valuable information on individual cows.

It will allow Irish milk producers to identify significantly more cows in heat than can be seen with current heat detection aids – such as activity meters – or visual checks to spot mastitis before it affects the milk.

Milk producers will also be made aware of cows in a dairy herd affected by different metabolic disorders before actual symptoms are visible to the naked eye.

Herd Navigator is a significant innovation in herd management as the system automatically measures different components in the milk while the cow is being milked.

This is undoubtedly the management tool of the future, it takes so much pressure off the farmer and delivers accurate results which will increase the financial yield from each cow by around €267 per cow per year.

Early warnings alert the milk producer to the appropriate quick action needed for individual cows, for reproduction, udder health and nutrition. Proactive action will also improve animal welfare and food safety.

Herd Navigator focus areasinclude reproduction, udder health and feeding. Using sophisticated bio-modelling, analytical results are presented on the farmer’s computer in a clear form that makes it easy to spot animals which need special attention including:

  • Cows in heat, pregnant cows and cows with reproduction disorders or abortions;
  • Cows that are developing mastitis, days before clinical signs can be seen; and,
  • Early detection of ketosis cases or imbalance in feed ration.

The new system will give the milk producer a better overview of the whole herd while providing valuable information on individual cows.

Herd Navigator is a multi-award winner including Agrarfuchs Innovation in Agriculture Award at Agraria Austria 2010, nel d’Or for milking equipment at La France Agricole 2010 and rated as three star Europe news at Agromek 2008 in January in Messecenter Herning.

The Herd Navigator concept has been developed in close co-operation between FOSS and DeLaval International AB and DeLaval UK and Ireland will be working in co-operation with Evidence Based Vererinary Consultancy (EBVC).

In July 2015, DeLaval was awarded the RABDF Prince Philip Award for research and development in the field of dairy farming and the most practical, relevant and best technical exhibit at the Livestock Event 2015 for the ‘Herd Navigator’.

DeLaval is a worldwide leader in milking equipment and solutions for dairy farmers, which make sustainable food production possible, warranting milk quality and animal health.

DeLaval robotic milking systems are responsible for delivering 38% of Ireland’s milk pool each year – or more than 380,000 cows on almost 6,500 farms on the island.

By Kieran FitzGerald
DeLaval VMS Solution Manager UK and Ireland.