“Out of all the technology we have in the shed, this is the most exciting.”
The number of cows on Nicki and Peter Webster’s farm fluctuates between 1150-1170 and they’re always looking at ways to upscale their technology. In 2016, that meant the DeLaval Body Condition Scoring camera, and they’re more than happy with it.
“We didn’t actually monitor BCS before we got the camera installed - and now with the data we are finding out a lot of things about the herd.”
Using the system they were able to identify cows under BCS 4/3 up to mating and fed them 4kg grain each and a kg of molasses and monitor their milk yield. “Those skinny cows were producing 20% more milksolids than the average - whereas the fatter cows were producing 15% under average.”
The extra grain they gave them allowed them to produce more milk, while pushing the empty rate down, giving them an extra opportunity for profit.
“This is the piece of technology that I think can make the most difference to how we farm, especially as we continue to learn more about what it enables us to do.”