Improved Management with Farm Data

Farm managers reviewing farm data

Harness your farm data to manage the high-performing cows of today and increase your bottom line.

The dairy industry’s concept of the ideal cow has changed immensely over the past four decades. Advancements in genetics, management practices and data collection have all played a role in shaping the modern cow – one that produces more milk than ever before with less resources.

As cow’s have evolved, so have herd management tools, allowing farmers to optimize cow performance in innovative ways.

Keeping Sustainability in Mind

According to data from the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding, today’s cows, on average, produce more milk with a higher fat content and a lower somatic cell count (SCC) than ever before.

Herd management software helps connect farm data such as health events, production, and sustainability. Software like DairyComp, used in conjunction with herd monitoring systems like Alta COW WATCH, can show an overview of herd performance and highlight trends. These tools help farmers quickly identify health events impacting their dairy and create solutions to tackle those challenges.

“In addition to increasing production and improving milk quality, we’ve gained a deeper understanding of the impact a cow’s health events have on the dairy, the more health events a cow has, the more resources she uses, which impacts production and overall sustainability of the business.” – Taliah Danzinger, VAS senior manager dairy intelligence.

Reproduction Revolution

The industry’s approach to reproduction has taken giant leaps forward, with developments in areas like genomics, in-vitro fertilization, and the rise of beef x dairy breeding.

New herd management tools like Reproduction Insights in the VAS PULSE Platform and Alta COW WATCH have also improved how farmers monitor performance, providing another way to analyze reproductive health through intuitive dashboards and point-and-click metrics.

“Just a few years ago, a 30% pregnancy rate was considered a significant accomplishment,” says Danzinger. “Today, that benchmark has been surpassed by the 80th percentile of AgSource herds exceeding 500 cows. What was once unattainable is becoming the norm.”

Leveraging Farm Data

Data management tools like CowVAL in DairyComp make it easy to compare cows within your herd and determine, based on various factors, your highest and lowest-performing cows. HealthVAL, another tool available to DairyComp users, provides context based on health events and allows you to compare benchmarks to similar-sized herds. Health insights available through Alta COW WATCH enhances these tools by allowing you to monitor individual cow health and detect illness much more quickly.

“How we manage, feed and house a genetically well-built cow changes what she can and will do,” says Danzinger. “For 40 years, we have evolved how we manage our herds – changing what we feed, how and when we milk and who we breed and cull. Dairies that take advantage of data management tools can easily implement changes and push their herds further, faster.”

To learn more about how DairyComp and Alta COW WATCH work together to provide you the data to take your herd to the next level, speak to your Alta advisor or fill out this contact form to have one follow-up with you.

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