Business News

GEA/University of Bonn develop targeted automated milk reduction software

Drying off cows with high milk yields is a complex process that comes with risks, including increased risk of mastitis – a risk that is often pre-emptively abated through the use of antibiotics. There are a number of conventional methods to prepare the udder for dry off, including restrictive feeding, reduced number of milkings or abrupt cessation. All of these methods come with risks, though, including metabolic issues, increased pressure in the udder, and insufficient flushing of the udder, which can lead to greater germ pressure. New software from GEA, developed in collaboration with the University of Bonn, Germany, aims to replace conventional methods by preparing cows naturally and optimally for the dry period. The aim of the technology is to help dairy farmers reduce their use of antibiotics, as well as to promote animal welfare and reduce on-farm workload. The software, AutoDry, won a gold medal at this year’s EuroTier, which took place in Hannover, Germany in November last year.

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Research | Free access

Sensor-based mastitis management in automatic milking system farms. Mastitis management from a data-centric and economic perspective

Mastitis, or udder inflammation, is one of the most prevalent and costliest diseases in dairy farming. Automatic milking systems, equipped with sensors measuring mastitis indicators, have been used commercially since the 1990s. These systems are equipped with sensors that measure the cow’s health by analyzing her milk. For instance, these sensors could measure electrical conductivity, the number of immune cells, and activity of enzymes in the milk. Different algorithms have been developed to use this sensor data to alarm the farmer in the case of mastitis. However, less algorithms have been developed to help the farmer decide what to do when mastitis is found.

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