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Cow monitoring for long-term farming
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With the world’s population growing and prosperity increasing, sustainable milk production is more important than ever. At the same time, rules and regulations get stricter while raw materials, labor and energy become more expensive. Accurate information about cow health is imperative to managing, keeping and passing on a successful business.

The more you accurately know how your dairy cows are performing, the better equipped you are to make effective management decisions. CowManager’s revolutionary ear sensor provides that real-time information for each individual cow by measuring cow behavior and ear-temperature. Early intervention results in reduced treatment costs, improved milk production, less labor and an overall healthier herd.

“The decisions we make are for our future,” says Tiffany Schneider, herdsperson at family farm Paulus Dairy and mother of three young children. “With the dairy industry changing so rapidly, the farming community has to adapt. Everything we do today will affect tomorrow. That’s where family comes into the family farm – we want to be here, we want to pass it on,” says Andy Paulus, owner of Paulus Dairy. Check out the full story of Paulus Dairy LLC in this video.

Throughout the years, Paulus Dairy has grown from 33 cows to today’s 1,500-cow operation in Fredonia, Wis. They manage 1,500 youngstock and farm 2,000 acres, all while making decisions that advance and innovate their operation. In May of 2018, they installed CowManager® as a tool to facilitate long-term success. “The system gives us a good snapshot of what that cow is doing,” says Mike Paulus, owner Paulus Dairy, “It is an easy program and once you get going, it’s not overthink-it, it’s work-it!”

When planning for long term sustainability and profitability, it is important to focus on the overall health of the herd. Where most cow monitoring systems only focus on heat detection, CowManager also concentrates on monitoring cow health. The activity tracker in CowManager’s ear sensor measures activity and resting time, rumination and eating and ear temperature. Monitoring cows 24/7 allows for earlier intervention, which results in quicker recovery, reduced cull rates, treatment costs, and labor, ultimately increasing profitability.

At Paulus Dairy each day starts with a review of CowManager reports. Not only does the system save time from walking the pens, but it offers a more precise observation than what can be achieved with a brief glance from the human eye. The Paulus crew recalls a case in which the system flagged a cow for going off feed. “There is no way that even the best herdsman would have picked that cow out as having a DA,” says Mike. “But she was in early stages and we got her fixed up and away she went.” With this early detection, treatment was less invasive and less costly, her recovery was much quicker, and she remained in production.

Paulus Dairy is approaching the end of two years with the CowManager system and they continue to see the benefits of the technology. Andy says, “CowManager is another tool in our arsenal to be more profitable, productive and efficient.”

This article was written by CowManager and CentralStar and published in AgriView Dairy Herd Health, March 5, 2020.

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