Description of the innovation
Certified meadow milk is milk from cows that graze for at least 720 hours during the pasture season. This can be easily checked at farms where cows graze as one herd. However, farms with milking robots often use a free cow traffic system. In these cases, each individual cow determines when it is time to graze. An easy check on the 720 hours is then not possible. That is why the dairy sector is looking for a system to monitor the cow traffic. On the basis of measured data it can be determined whether the farmer can qualify for a meadow milk premium or not.
DigiWei is one of the available digital registration systems working by Bluetooth connection.
- System correctly monitors grazing hours for each individual cow
- Grazing premium possible in situations of free cow traffic
- No additional benefits of the data yet
Johnny and Rianne Lensink, living in Aalten, recently started using a Bluetooth system to register the hours of grazing of their milking cows. At the farm with 19 ha permanent grassland, 55 cows are milked by a milking robot. Free cow traffic is applied and it is therefore difficult to prove that the milking cows have at least 6 hours grazing per day and 120 days of grazing, or in total 720 hours grazing. “In coming years, it will probably be obliged by the milk processors to prove that the cows walk outside sufficiently”; Johnny said. By means of the Bluetooth system, it is possible to determine how many hours each individual cow is outside for grazing. There are four receivers that register whether a cow is walking inside or is outside the barn.
The Digiwei system is in development to get also health and heat monitoring. This will give additional information to the farmer in the future.
More information (in Dutch)
- Klokken van weidetijd. Veeteelt februari 2017: 34-35, http://edepot.wur.nl/410758