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.

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Protocols: no exact science but a continuous improvement process

Author: Maarten Crivits (ILVO) - March 26, 2018

What do you think is best, no protocol or a bad protocol?”, Niels Achten (Liba) asked the dairy farmers present at the 4D4F meeting ‘Protocols for dairy farmers’ (Belgium, 22nd February organized by ZLTO, LIBA and VHL.)

"Better a bad protocol, because then you know what you are doing and you can make things better", an attentive dairy farmer said,  when the question was asked again at the end of the meeting.

Biosensors: the future of sensors for dairy health management?

Authors: Aranzazu Varvaró Porter, Aida Xercavins (IRTA) - March 23, 2018

Precision livestock farming applies a wide span of technologies, but is including increasingly advanced technologies like microfluidics, sound analysers, image-detection techniques, sweat and salivary sensing, serodiagnosis, and others. Biosensors and wearable technologies are the state of art of dairy health management, and seem to become one of the most impactful and practicable technology in the animal health market.

How can we ensure SOP-based working being accepted in the dairy farming?

Author: Tamara Wind (VHL) - March 22, 2018

As part of the education program students have to bring up innovative ideas for a question from the work field. Last month, 35 students were invited to bring up innovative ideas for the 4D4F-project. We challenged students to bring up innovative ideas for the question ‘How can we ensure SOP-based working being accepted in the dairy farming?’

Cow Alerts: Are They Trustworthy?

Author: Iain Dalton (IfA) - March 5, 2018

Critical to the effective management of data is the level of false positive alerts resulting in wasted time, poor decision making and a permanent loss in the level of confidence in the system.

Staff facing such inaccuracies will become sceptical of the system and adopt methods of working that do not fully utilise the benefits that data can bring to the management of the dairy cow. “Unpolluted” data is core to a successful business – particularly wherefarms rely on analysis of large quantities of data to make crucial decisions andultimately survive.

More to the success of technology than the technology itself

Author: Iain Dalton (IfA) - February 5, 2018

There is no doubt the role and presence of new technology and digital infrastructure is increasing throughout the global dairy industry.

The technologies detailed throughout the 4D4F project will become increasingly common and they can bring great success to individual units but in the journey to increased productivity through use of remote sensors and digital systems there is a real danger that there could be many examples of expensive failure and wasted investment if care is not taken in the implementation.