The importance of IoT devices in livestock management holds utmost value for livelihood.
The growing concern about land and water resources has led farmers struggling to manage their crops and livestock. Besides, reducing waste and cutting overall costs remains a top concern for farmers.
The new advancements in technology play a crucial role in helping to improve the quality and quantity of agriculture production. This is when the Internet of Things (IoT) comes into the picture. IoT brings a plethora of opportunities for farmers that helps them to optimize their livestock health using remote monitoring and data-driven decision making.
The rising domain of “agritech,” brings together internet-connected devices which are helping to monitor the health of crops and livestock and increase livestock productivity. Here are ways that the “IoT for cows” works.
Tracking cattle movement
IoT helps to monitor the cows’ locations and prevents potential theft of cattle, the UK company BT has partnered with working with the National Trust on technology which can pinpoint where its cattle have roamed.
Monitoring livestock health levels
It is crucial to monitor the health levels of livestock that can prevent illness and diagnose diseases at an early stage. IoT solutions use wearables which include electronic bands that can stream data to the cloud. These wearables are mounted on the animal while the built-in sensors help to collate data to notify farmers about several factors which directly have an impact on livestock health.
Monitoring blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, digestion level, and other vitals assists farmers to stay up-to-date with their cattle’s health. IoT device tracking also contributes to a reduction in livestock feeding concerns.
Cows have a small fertility window when they are in heat. This can be as low as eight hours a month. The Moo Monitor detects the health and fertility of single cows and those moving in herds to ensure that this critical window is taken care of. This information can be collected through sensors located at a 1,000-meter range, connected to a mobile device.
The product Silent Herdsman, used on hundreds of dairy farms across Europe bought in collaboration with the Scottish government, is a neck-mounted sensor. It tracks cow movement throughout the day and sends information like the eating behaviour and health issues to farmers after the cow crosses a designated Wi-Fi point. This information is stored on the cloud-based subsequently sent to computers, to be accessed via smartphones or tablets.
In upstate New York, Hemdale Farms uses 19 Lely Astronaut robots to milk more than 1,000 cows, making it the second-largest robotic milking production in the US. The robots can increase milk production by allowing cows to “choose” when they would like to be milked, resulting in increased milking sessions. Beyond that, the machines have another important purpose: Collecting data. The cows are equipped with IDs and transponders, which can track when they are ready to produce more milk. If a cow is eligible for increased production, dairy workers can alter their diet to include a sweet-coated grain, which assists in lactation.
IoT sensors also help to locate cattle’s location remote areas providing early warning signals to farmers directly to the IoT platform. These IoT devices also have an alert-based system that informs the farmer when a cow is out-of-range.
Maximizing livestock livelihood
Monitoring the behaviour of herds is one of the most crucial tasks for farmers. With IoT devices, it is easy to correlate cattle movement who show specific behaviours like pasturing or lying down to chew cud. By monitoring this, a farmer can easily identify if the cow needs to be milked at that time. Besides, IoT devices can measure the milking amount and speed. They can also track the amount of food a cow consumes and the number of steps has walked in a day.
The sensors embedded within wearables can be tied around the cow’s neck, helping farmers to personally supervise the session based on the livestock needs. The data gathered from the cow’s activity helps a farmer to improve their diet and increase lactation.
In a crux, there’s no longer a need for farmers to depend on their gut feeling to make crucial decisions. An IoT solution for livestock that is backed up by real-time data that can provide key insights in most aspects of farming livestock. Moreover, such solutions enable farmers to reap greater productivity and livestock revenues.