smaXtec receives a highly coveted funding for the project ProDairyWelfare under the Horizon 2020 SME Instruments, the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness. The goal of ProDairyWelfare is the development of a decision-making tool, which enables farmers to produce milk both in a cost-effective and sustainable manner in order to satisfy the increasing global demand for milk.
The dairy industry has been changing significantly over the last decades. Cost pressure has been leading to farming intensification and consolidation, resulting in an increase in cow sickness and fertility, shorter lifetime of high-yield animals and lower per cow productivity. Other factors such as the increase in milk demand and the increase in regulations have also been influencing the work of dairy farmers in Europe.
smaXtec developed a globally unique sensor-based monitoring solution for continuous management of heat, calving, health status and feeding of dairy cows. The objective of the ProDairyWelfare project is to further develop a decision-making tool for dairy farmers based on intensive field research which enables farmers to produce milk both in a cost-effective and sustainable manner. The benefits of using this tool will be increased animal welfare and cow’s lifetime as well as the reduction of medication, especially antibiotics. European farmers will be able to satisfy the increasing demand in milk while working in a resource-saving and environment-friendly way thanks to optimised processes and feeding on the farm.
Transparency plays a key role for consumers and all companies who are part of the food production chain. Milk production should be clearly traceable to ensure that the best quality is produced. A clear indication of origin and observation of methods of processing are indispensable to guarantee that high quality is given. With a sensor providing all relevant data over the cow’s lifetime transparency will be reinforced.
ProDairyWelfare tackles the challenges caused by modern dairy farming. Cow sickness, shorter lifetime and reduced fertility are only some of the difficulties farmers are facing. With increasing herd sizes caused by cost pressure as well as time-consuming bureaucratic and administrative activities, farmers have less time for animal monitoring and observation. For farmers, there is a clear need for a tool supporting them in gathering and interpreting information on herd data and derived call to actions.
The smaXtec monitoring system which will be further developed to a decision-making tool within this project will help farmers in Europe and all over the world to face these challenges and improve animal welfare while producing milk in a cost-efficient and sustainable way.
This topic is highly relevant for the European society as the way food is produced concerns us all. A careful use of resources in this sector will play a key role in our future climate – the use of technology will favor efficient processes on farms and thus help in working environmental-friendly and resource-saving manner.
Early disease detection will enable farmers to treat their animals at an early stage and thus prevent the use of larger amounts of medication such as antibiotics as well as secondary diseases. The amount of antibiotics given to animals plays a leading role in antibiotic resistance, thus the reduction will help in fighting them.
The global population development will pose further challenges and difficulties in terms of famine. Thinking about climate change, it is indispensable to find resource-saving ways of producing more food with less effort. Our technology will help farmers in producing more milk at better conditions for cows while using fewer resources.
There’s a strong interest in animal welfare from a consumer’s point of view. Transparency in food production will help farmers improving animal health while proving to consumers that they do take care of their animals properly.
To summarize, the overall objective of ProDairyWelfare is the development of a decision-making tool, which enables farmers to produce milk both in a cost-effective and sustainable manner in order to satisfy the increasing global demand for milk
The collected data will be used to further develop our tools for precise and proactive health management by adding new, extensive features which will be of high benefit for farms of all sizes.
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