MooMonitor+ wins big again, this time in the US

Dairymaster followed up their award for the MooMonitor+ at the Ploughing with a bigger win at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.

World Dairy Expo is the North American showcase for elite dairy cattle, cutting-edge research and modern technologies, with an attendance of 80,000 over five days.

Dairymaster USA Inc, the American subsidiary of the Co Kerry company, figured prominently in the Innovation Awards, sponsored by Dairy Herd Management magazine.

The judges — including farmers, academics and industry representative across all regions of the country — evaluated 55 entries, all new since the 2013 World Dairy Expo.

“These new products may provide a hint of where we are going, and also a look into the areas where dairy producers want further exploration. Whether its milk, manure, heat, fever, money or mycotoxins, these products represent a broad range of innovation, and a sign our suppliers will continue to innovate to make dairy farm life and management better,” said Lucas Sjostrom, of Dairy Herd Management.

The judges came up with a top 10 — and it included MooMonitor+, which, they said, was an improvement on the original, with added rumination measures.

The MooMonitor+ monitors the cow’s neck movements for activity related to heats, resting, rumination, feeding, lameness, head position and restlessness. Measurements are taken every 15 minutes, giving real-time behaviour information for quick identification of potential illness, or other factors that require management attention.

This technology is a tool to manage herds for animal well-being, health and reproductive performance.

The MooMonitor+ is the next generation of activity meters, using cloud-based data storage, near-field communication (NFC) and a mobile app that allows two-way interaction with the system (e.g., cow-management and insemination events can be entered immediately, removing the need to go back to the computer).

* Another Innovations Top 10 winner, and with Irish connections, is Alltech’s 37+ Mycotoxin Analysis Programme.

It provides tailored, species-specific risk assessment of feedstuffs and their expected impact on animal performance, based on the mycotoxins found during analysis. Using an improved, liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry method, the 37+ programme analyses for multiple mycotoxins in a given feed sample, calculating the risk-equivalent quantity (risk factor multiplied by the quantity of mycotoxin) for that particular feedstuff.

It considers the sample as a whole, testing for multiple mycotoxins simultaneously, and takes into account their synergistic and additive effects.

The programme also provides tailored recommendations and mitigation strategies through balanced nutrition, feed management, and the inclusion of an integrated mycotoxin-management programme.

Alltech was founded in 1980 by Irishman, Dr Pearse Lyons, and its European headquarters and bioscience centre, in Co Meath, supports activities in 42 countries.

* One of the American top-10 innovations, which may be of interest on this side of the Atlantic, is a technology that naturally increases the health and production of dairy cows. It is developed by Behavioural Response Technologies, of Colorado.

There are no hormones, antibiotics, or steroids involved. Instead, BRT’s technology consists of a reusable vibrating unit that stimulates fresh cows to increase activity, namely consumption, in between milkings. When consumption in fresh cows increases, the immune system recovers faster, the severity of health issues is reduced, milk production increases, and reproductive receptivity improves. Studies have shown that use of BRT’s technology can result in hundreds more gallons of milk per cow, per year, and increased income over feed cost.

It uses vibration to enhance a cow’s nervous system and bodily functions, which naturally improve health, increase feed conversion, and drive milk production

For example, a gentle pain-free vibration of the tail, during the first three weeks after calving, sends signals to the brain that trigger increased activity.

This increased activity includes trips for feed and water. The system can enhance activity throughout the day, between trips to the milking parlour.

By getting calved cows to eat more, these devices expand the rumen and restore energy balance faster, and can increase milk production by 10% for the full lactation.

Unusual though this innovation is, it was a regional sustainability winner in last week’s Cleantech Open Global Forum, in San Francisco


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