Wednesday, 14 October 2020 08:55

Workshops on animal health

Written by  Staff Reporters
DWN chief executive Jules Benton. DWN chief executive Jules Benton.

A series of free workshops on animal health are being organised next month.

The programme is a joint initiative between Dairy Women’s Network, Allflex Livestock Intelligence, MSD and IDEXX.

The workshops will focus on Allflex’s monitoring system technology and how that technology can help with heat detection as well as overall animal health. 

The second part of these free three-hour practical sessions will cover the importance of the Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) dairy framework as well as some information about BVD from the MSD Animal Health team and IDEXX.

Attendees will receive insights into Allflex’s collar technology: what, how and why the technology is used; BVD testing and vaccination strategies; and how both Allflex collars and BVD testing ultimately have a positive impact on a farmer’s bottom line. 

“This season we are seeing an increase in monitoring enquiries and sales as farmers are quickly seeing the benefits of using a monitoring system,” says Allflex’s national sales manager Austin Heffernan.

“There is good value in monitoring your herd, not just to detect heat but to provide accurate and early insights into individual cow health, meaning fewer down cows and more days in milk.

“These workshops are a great chance for those farmers who are interested to ask any questions directly to a farmer who is using the technology in a farmer-to-farmer knowledge share.” 

  Following the new partnership between IDEXX and the Dairy Women’s Network, IDEXX representatives have come on board to showcase the ease and success of testing for BVD in successful control programmes nationwide. IDEXX says it is excited to be working with DWN, MSD and Allflex on this important initiative. 

“Infectious diseases, especially BVD, negatively impact productivity and fertility on farm: with this new partnership, IDEXX hopes to make significant improvements to improve the health and wellbeing of New Zealand livestock.”

DWN chief executive Jules Benton says it wants to equip farmers with the knowledge to protect herd health. 

“Utilising technology such as Allflex collars is a big part of that. When it comes to BVD eradication implementing a strong testing and vaccination programme is key – we want attendees to understand how this disease works so that they can make decisions in the field and adapt when they need to,” says Benton.

Six workshops will be held at farms around the country, with the first session in North Otago on Tuesday November 3. Following sessions will be held in Manawatu, Southland, Waipa, South Waikato and Kaipara. 

 • Visit dwn.co.nz/events for more information on the workshops and to register. 

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Dutch robotic specialist Lely launched a new farm management application called Horizon at its recent Future Farm Days 2020.

Designed to connect data from a range of on-farm equipment and suppliers into one management system, it creates a real-time decision-support platform, to make the farmer’s life easier, the herd healthier and the farm more profitable, says Lely.

Developed over a 24-month period, with over 100 test farmers in seven countries, working with 75 engineers, designers, farm management advisors, veterinarians and AI specialists, the new application will eventually replace the current Lely T4C management system. It uses smart algorithms and the cloud to deliver data that is processed into actionable information that is always accessible on any device in a user-friendly way.

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The migration is planned in a phased approach, from country to country, over the year 2021.

Also launched at the event, Lely Exos is an autonomous concept for harvesting and feeding fresh grass to the herd.

The company suggests that feeding fresh grass makes better use of available roughage, suggesting “fresh” has between 10 and 20% more nutritional value than grass silage, as there are minimal losses typically seen during mowing, tedding, raking, harvesting and feeding.

Lely suggests that feeding fresh grass over an extended season reduces the amount of silage that has to be conserved, reduces the need for concentrates and bought-in feed and increase the margin made on each litre of milk produced.

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