Double A Dairy in Jerome, Idaho was looking for an easy to implement cow monitoring system that could work in their herd with more than 10,000 animals spread over multiple locations. Keeping close watch over of this number of cows is challenging and labor intensive. A cow monitoring system can save valuable time by keeping track of a cow’s reproduction, health, and nutritional status. Where others failed to meet their expectations, CowManager stepped up and delivered.
Figure 1. The ear sensor sends data to a router, and the router sends the data of all connected ear sensors to the coordinator.
Building on years of experience, CowManager rolled out a unique solution to handle the enormous amount of sensor data. The challenge was to route sensor information more efficiently from the animal to cloud storage. ‘The secret is segmentation of the network which allows us to connect an unlimited number of sensors to one system’, explains Koen van Meurs, head of R&D at CowManager.
The system works with a combination of an ear sensor, router(s) and software, shown in figure 1. The router functions on only a power supply and is therefore easy to install on every dairy farm.
Figure 2. Demonstrates the segmented network at Double A dairy. Whenever a segment goes offline, as shown at the 2nd location, the data is redirected.
The network devices use software that is programmed to transfer data via the most efficient route to the cloud. Cows can move from one segment to another, or change location, without loss of data. In case a network device goes offline, the other network devices make sure all sensor data is transmitted anyway because of built in redundancies. An unlimited number of segments can be created within one network, resulting in only one data overview in CowManager.
All these smart solutions ensure accuracy no matter the size of the dairy farm. Figure 2 demonstrates the segmented network and what happens when a device goes offline. Today, herd personnel and managers at Double A Dairy successfully monitor their cows using one device and one dashboard with CowManager.