Fitbits for Queensland dairy cows

Fitbits for Queensland dairy cows

COMMENT
Agribusiness
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More cows across Queensland will be accessorised with the Digital Activity Monitoring program.

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More cows across Queensland will be accessorised with technology comparable to that of a Fitbit through the Digital Activity Monitoring program. The program aims to increase adoption of the digital technology which improves animal health monitoring and management through collecting and analysing data such as time spent eating and exercising.

Research has confirmed the technology's ability to detect a health issue such as mastitis one to three days earlier than a physical examination of the animal. Other benefits include accurate oestrus detection, optimal breeding timing, alerts for difficult calvings, suspected pregnancies, miscarriages, silent heats, anoestrus.

As well as early detection of reproductive, nutritional or environmental health issues it can also be used to determine if the initial treatment has been successful or if another treatment is required to bring the animal back to health. Additionally, the technology can also notify producers if an animal has gone missing from the herd or lost the monitoring equipment.

The technology is commercially available with more than 10 different products offered throughout Australia in the form of neck collars, ear or leg tags, and rumen boluses.

Last week, Queensland Dairyfarmers' Organisation completed the first major milestone in the program funded by the Digital Transformation Grant from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries' Agribusiness Digital Solutions Grant Program delivering five regional digital training workshops.

We greatly appreciate and again wish to thank the dairy farming families, Gear (Gympie), Rattey (Murgon), Garratt (Southbrook), Wenzel (Roadvale) and Daley (Millaa Millaa) who kindly hosted the events on their properties. The events were well supported with a total of 101 individuals attending, including 11 industry suppliers and the remainder representing 54 dairy farming businesses.

The end of the workshop road trip also marked the closing of the Expressions of Interest applications for the financial assistance being offered through the program for farms to adopt animal activity monitoring technology.

Over 25 expressions of interest were received, and these will now go on to the formal application process where eligible Queensland dairy businesses can apply to become a Producer Demonstration Site of the technology. Those approved will be able to claim 15 per cent of the cost to implement the technology as a rebate with up to $5000 available per farm.

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