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How to make money with your dairy in a down economy?
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Invest in a cow monitoring system
When milk prices are low, investing in a cow monitoring system may not be the first thing on a farmer’s mind. However, studies have shown that reproduction and health monitoring technologies should always be focused on, even in a down economy. Accurate information about a cow’s performance is essential to success in dairy farming. The better you know how your animals feel, the better equipped you are to take the right action at the right time. Adequate intervention will result in higher pregnancy rates, improved lactation, a better health status, and fewer cow losses. CowManager’s revolutionary ear tag provides this information for each individual cow, and fully supports the needs of the dairyman, resulting in not only saving money but in making money indeed. The CowManager users tell you how!


Upgrading your herds’ health status saves money
The key to success in all transition and fresh cow programs is keeping cows healthy. The transition period is also the moment when a cow’s peak for lactation will be determined. CowManager will alert you immediately whenever a single cow is not eating or ruminating. The resulting early intervention will save you money on labor and antibiotics and will reduce milk drops. However, some results, such as the benefits of improving the herds’ health status, are hard to measure.

Michael Johnson of Trailside Holsteins LLC (500 cows) in Fountain, MN, finds that the CowManager Health module offers great support in detecting cows in the early stages of a disease. A typical disease that is hard to catch is sub-clinical pneumonia. Because of the early detection, the affected cows can be treated in an earlier stage, resulting in healthier cows that don’t drop in milk production. Moreover, early detection will decrease the cost of treatments. “With CowManager early detection of mastitis, fresh cow illnesses and sub-clinical infection has been substantial. I am catching the majority of sick cows earlier. In most cases, there is a faster recovery and cows bounce back soon,” according to Michael Johnson. His dead loss also dropped from 8% to 4% since he has been using CowManager.

drewDrew Johnson, manager of Santiam Dairy (500 cows) in Turner, OR, which is owned by Chris DeVries, also sees huge savings in the medical costs due to early detection by the system. “We’ve saved 8,000 dollars on drugs in seven months”, he claims. “Next to that, our death loss also greatly decreased. It saves us time finding and treating cows that are truly sick. You wouldn’t believe how soon the tags pick up illness.
Now we can save time and money because we’re only treating cows that need it, and not treating those that don’t.”

 

John and Meghan Palmer of Prairie Star Diary (100 cows) are running an organic dairy farm in Iowa. During the winter of 2017-18 they had a pneumonia outbreak in their milking herd. This showed them the benefits of CowManager right away. “At one time during this challenge, we had 17 cows that the CowManager Health module alerts identified as being sick; using the data available within the system was critical to our ability to manage the treatment process. We only ended up with a few cows that we had to give antibiotics to save, which resulted in these cows having to be sold to a conventional dairy. Without the early alerts from CowManager, we would likely have decided to treat more cows than we needed to, so CowManager saved us from having to cull a larger percentage of our herd. Having the CowManager system available during this health event was a huge benefit for us.”

Brody Stapel of Double Dutch Diary LLC (215 cows) in Wisconsin explains that CowManager supports them in improving their herds’ health status. “CowManager finds sick, lame and feverish cows before our employees do”.

Improve your profit with timely insemination
For years, dairy operations have depended on timely and efficient breeding in order to maximize profit. The biggest challenge dairy farms face in this area is ‘heat detection’ or knowing when an individual cow goes into heat. CowManager provides reliable data on heat intensity and heat stage. By combining these alerts with cow data, the system gives valuable insights into the cycles of your individual cows. The system offers you all the information you need for maximizing heat detection.

Thanks to CowManager, we don’t need to use the same hormone program anymore, we use very few shots. Our pregnancy rate went up from 24 to 32%. And, it takes us about 10 minutes to select the cows that are in heat,” Michael Johnson mentions.

"Prior to having the CowManager Fertility module, we were using synchronization at 100% of the herd. Now we are detecting cows in heat and breeding more cows naturally. Our pregnancy used to be 15% and it increased to 22%," testifies Larry Gartner of Rumpus Ridge farm (500 cows) in Minnesota.

In terms of saving time, we used to spend about two hours every day chalking tails, watching for heats, and checking fresh cows, but we don’t do that anymore. And we’re having better results,” according to Drew Johnson.

 

Many dairy farmers installed CowManager mainly to improve the reproduction status. Ray Nebel, Vice President of Tech Services at Select Sires Inc, explains that we usually see a 3 to 5% increase in 21-day pregnancy rate after installing CowManager. “But there are always nice outliers to share, like Milco Dairy (2.000 cows) that raised its pregnancy rate with 12% (18 to 30%) and Prairie Star Dairy that saw a rise of 11% (24 to 35%) in just a couple of months.” The figure shows the improvements in pregnancy rates with 7 CowManager users in the United States.

 

CowManager has a great return on investment
Early intervention with an accurate cow monitoring system helps you to improve the health and fertility status of your herd. Resulting in a better performing and healthier cow, that needs less medication and (no) hormones. Not only can CowManager help you to be more profitable, it also saves time and labor. Those figures are hard to define in numbers. But our customers can tell you how fast their return on investment was.

“The payback time is 1.5 year maximum, but some results are hard to measure,” Michael Johnson explains. “CowManager is a money maker,” says Brody Stapel. “We installed the CowManager system mainly for the reproduction benefits. Before installing CowManager, we were running a pregnancy rate of around 18% and currently it’s around 27%. We found that the Fertility module itself has paid off in one year. In summary, this system actually makes us money instead of just saving it.”



CowManager offers different payment solutions that fit easily within the investment plan of each dairy farm business. This way, each dairy can generate more profit with its investment.


 

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