Central Data Collection and Communication for Today’s Dairies

Central Data Collection and Communication for Today’s Dairies

Whether you’re milking in a conventional parlor, rotary or robot barn, the amount of data you can collect has multiplied more quickly in recent years. The importance of this data is two-fold: 1) to inform management decisions and 2) to have a means of sharing information about your farm practices to the supply chain and consumer.

Farmers have been implementing the best sustainability and management practices that they know how to for generations. In recent years, consumers have started asking for food that is sustainably and responsibly produced. In addition, more, better tools and resources have come to the surface, not only giving names to sustainability practices, but also ways to measure the economic and environmental impact of responsible farming methods.

Recognizing that rising costs, changing consumer trends, environmental pressures, food safety standards and legislation are all challenging the ability of dairy producers to stay profitable, Total Dairy Solutions (TDS) was built for the future of dairy. TDS helps their customers stay competitive, thrive, and understand their role in the food value chain by adapting to and investing in better processes.

The responsibility that dairy farmers have to their animals, their customers and their business can present a challenge in determining the best path forward for every angle. One TDS partner that helps farmers record and share this kind of information about their farms is MILC Group, a team of dairy experts with experiences ranging from dairy management to technology development as well as animal nutrition and healthcare. MILC Group offers the one™ app, bringing all of the information about your feed and facilities together into one place.

Not only does the farm benefit from the central point for information on their feed and facilities, but advisers can also access the app to help inform management decisions. Having all of this animal feeding and care data in one place also helps tell the sustainability and responsibility story to the supply chain and consumer.

The story to share about feed management

One common argument against dairy production is that cows are eating food that humans should eat. According to dairy.org, research that shows 80% of what dairy cows eat can’t be consumed by people. This includes byproducts from microbreweries and others, such as almond hulls, cottonseeds, citrus pulp and peel, and corn grain remaining from the production of ethanol.

Tracking feed management through an app such as one™ helps drive feeder accuracy, efficiency and accountability, making the most out of the already-upcycled diet. When asked, you’re able to show what your cows are eating and when, while at the same time increasing efficiency and profitability on the farm.

The story to share about facilities and animal welfare

An important part of the sustainability and responsibility story is animal welfare. Consumers want to know that the animals who produced their food are treated well. While many consumers have their own ideas of what this should look like, dairy farmers are tasked with showing responsibility in their current practices. Solutions like cow brushes are an easy, visual way to show a consumer that the cows are being raised in a comfortable and suitable environment.

Many other animal welfare practices that have come with new technology, whose benefits are easy to see on paper and in production results for farmers, may not resonate as well with consumers. There is no one “responsibly-produced” seal that can encompass everything that goes into animal care. This is one place where new apps and technology can help fill a gap.

An animal health module is coming soon from MILC Group. It will give up to date, quality data that’s important when managing animals’ health and productivity. One™ animal makes data available real-time and ensures that only quality data is recorded.

“Traditionally, tech innovation in the dairy industry has been driven by companies that sell feed, additives, equipment or genetics. MILC Group’s single goal is to build simple, affordable, and powerful technologies, dairymen don’t need to buy corn gluten feed or semen from us to have access to our software,” says Dr. Michel Baldin, dairy nutritionist and animal scientist at MILC Group.

MILC Group is a California-based company that brings innovation to the dairy industry through technology, culture development and education. The philosophy, “Simple, Powerful Tech Solutions for Your Dairy,” is at the core of all resources that MILC Group brings to the market. Learn more at www.milcgroup.com.

TDS is proud to work with partners whose solutions benefit their customers’ goals for their animals, profitability and environment.

Learn more about our partners