The Danish Dairy Farm uses the RFID Real-Time Location System (RTLS) to help farmers locate a single cow in the herd, analyze the behavior of the cow and detect disease precursors in a timely manner. Early detection and treatment of disease can increase farm yields and reduce the chances of having to slaughter cows due to illness.
Farmers also use this technology – based on cow behavior and feeding patterns – to find cows that enter estrus and are about to ovulate. With this type of information in a timely manner, dairy farmers can arrange for cows to be inseminated, which is more likely to be infertile than insemination according to the calendar cycle. The increase in the success rate of the gestation allows the dairy cows on the farm to sustain the offspring, thereby increasing the profit of the dairy farmers.
Developed by the Danish company SmarterFarming, this technology uses Ubisense active, ultra-wideband RFID tags and readers. The tag transmits a series of short-wave signals at a frequency of 6 – 8 GHz. According to Ubisense, the extremely short-wave characteristics of the pulses make them better immune to RF interference from objects and other RF noise than the usual RFID RTLS technology. When the reader receives the tag signal through the phase-arranged antenna, it uses two complementary techniques – Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA) and Angle of Arrival (AOA) – to calculate the position of the tag.
Keer Florczak, President of SmarterFarming, developed the animal tracking and monitoring system CowDetect. When he interviewed the 10th generation of a farm in Aage Hindhede – Denmark’s Ringk?bing-Skjern region (a total of 130 cows), he realized that dairy farmers wanted to find a way to ensure the daily milking of each cow. The number of times can improve the overall management level of the herd.
Hindhede is also using this technology to observe the disease in 130 cows and 130 calves and to detect adult cows in estrus. In the year when the CowDetect system was used on the farm, he said that the new system improved the success rate of the cow’s insemination compared to the past, and it was more effective in preventing the animal from being seriously ill.
The other three Danish farms also use the CowDetect system this year, with the largest farm having a total of 600 cows. The farm uses mechanical, fully automatic milking equipment, and the cow learns to automatically reach the milking station several times a day according to a special feed. An RFID reader mounted above the mechanical milking device reads the passive, ISO-compliant 134.2 kHz RFID tag on each ear to confirm that the cow has been milked. If the information collected by the reader indicates that a cow is not being fully milked, the farmer needs to find the cow and bring it to the milking equipment. Before adopting the RFID system, farmers may have to spend hours looking for cattle that are not regularly milked. With CowDetect, farmers can immediately see the location of these cows.
To develop the animal behavior analysis component of the CowDetect system, Florczak and Hindhede found animal health and behavior experts at the Agricultural Technology and Food Innovation Association. Experts cited 14 indicators, such as the feeding frequency of cows, or the speed and direction of movement – this can be used as a basis for behavioral analysis. For example, in the earliest stages of ketosis (a common disease in adult cattle), cows may show some signs, such as reduced feed time. Cows with ketosis may have abnormal gait, aggressive or screaming.
Early detection of ketoacidosis is very important for dairy farmers, Hindhede said, because if it is not detected and treated in time, the disease will cause the cow to stop producing milk. Once this happens, the cow will no longer have any benefit and the farmer will have to slaughter it. Usually, dairy farmers observe changes in cow manure and feeding habits before they realize that cows are suffering from ketosis. But Hindhede and Florczak said that using this system to analyze the feed and movement patterns of each cow can detect the disease one week earlier. If the sick cow is not treated in time, it will stop milking within 14 days.
Florczak develops a set of arithmetic for various indicators and establishes an early warning mechanism in CowDetect software. Farmers can use these alerts to locate and detect specific animal diseases, and if the label indicates the arrival of the milk steak, the dairy farmer can plan for insemination.
Although Ubisense labels and software can quickly locate single-headed cows within 15 cm, Florczak says, this is not enough to accurately perform some measurements, such as cow specific body position or slight movement. For more accurate measurements, Florczak combines the Ubisense label with another non-RFID technology (because the technology is still patent pending, he declined to give details). These two devices and a power supply battery are placed in a sturdy jacket and installed under the collar of each cow.
According to Florczak, a farm with 200 cows requires 200 custom Ubisense label modules, and the average cost per head is $511. This cost includes all hardware and software, but does not include manual installation costs. The system is currently available in Europe, North America and some parts of Asia.
Using CowDetect to track and detect cows, AgroTech expects farmers to save $448-$505 per cow per year, taking into account reduced labor costs and increased herd fertility.
1. Establish a full-quality traceability system from milk source management, fresh milk transportation, raw and auxiliary materials management, production and processing, quality control, warehousing management, distribution channels, and consumer management to achieve two-way traceability of products (ie, tracking: from raw materials to products) ; traceability: from product to raw material) management mechanism.
2. With product quality and safety traceability as the application basis, provide safe, safe and healthy food for the public, enhance the core strength, market power, loyalty, radiation, innovation, vitality, cultural strength and leadership of the corporate brand. Enterprises are in an invincible position in the increasingly fierce competition.
3. Through the sales management platform, online sales orders, sales order approval, sales tracking, dealer credit management and other services are realized, which simplifies the existing business processes of the enterprise and improves the operation efficiency.
4. With the advantages of automatic identification and Internet of Things technology, information anti-counterfeiting and physical anti-counterfeiting can be combined to prevent economic and credit losses caused by counterfeit products.
5. Strengthen the management and control of the enterprise market, realize the management of anti-smuggling goods, ensure the healthy and orderly development of the market, and establish a dealer credit management system.
6. Realize product warehousing, transportation logistics tracking, improve the efficiency of enterprise logistics operations, and expand to integrate with third-party logistics.
7. Establish a complete consumer file, track product quality and after-sales service through member consumption management, so that the company can accurately understand the quality of the product and user feedback. Realize the search of the basic information of the product (such as authenticity, production date, production place, etc.) and the retrieval of the baby information, and improve the loyal consumption of the consumer.
8. Provide timely and accurate data analysis, such as raw materials, production, logistics, distribution, quality, consumption, etc. to the enterprise decision-making level to help enterprises shorten decision-making time and enhance market competitiveness.