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Data Driven Dairy Decision For Farmers (4D4F) aims at developing a network for dairy farmers, dairy technology suppliers, data companies, dairy advisors, veterinarians and researchers to improve the decision making on dairy farms based on data generated by sensors.


Farmers in need of time

Author: Maarten Crivits (ILVO) - 13 December 2016

At the Hooibeekhoeve, the provincial extension and testing station for dairy farming in Geel (Belgium), local farmers met to discuss the relevance of implementing data from sensors to support their daily decisions. During the event, a lively discussion unfolded about the potential utility of a milking robot, the possibilities of doing more with data from farming software programs and the role of advisors. The 4D4F team took home some important lessons about labor efficiency and the organization of data management support.

SARA: to monitor or not to monitor?

Author: Dr. Maarten Crivits (ILVO) - 23 December 2016


Subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA) is a metabolic disorder that can become a serious economic problem in dairy herds. Dairy herds experiencing SARA will have a decreased efficiency of milk production as well as impaired cow health leading to involuntary culling. In practice, SARA is often overlooked and underestimated: neither the treatment costs nor the disease costs have been thoroughly investigated. Moreover, from the perspective of the farmer, SARA is very difficult to detect due to its lack of clear symptoms.