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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Conquering ketosis

Author: Richard Llord (IfA) - April 3, 2018

The key to conquering ketosis lies in combining technology, data, and good stockmanship, believes James Oddie, Director of Farming and Innovations and Operations at Myerscough College. Ketosis, a metabolic disease, causes reduced feed intake, reduced milk production and lethargy which consequentially can lead to further production losses over the whole lactation, fertility problems and increases susceptibility to secondary disease.

How can sensor technology improve efficiency in grassland production?

Auhor: Deborah Crossan (IfA) - March 28, 2018

In simple terms, sensors are just another way of measuring, be it soil samples, yields or crop quality. When this data is monitored against other on-farm combined results, it is possible to make informed management decisions. Precision techniques have been widely adopted in arable farming, and has resulted in optimum use of expensive inputs and resources which has resulted in improved gross margins. However, precision farming techniques are not, so far, widely used on grassland despite the wide in field variation of both yield potential and nutrient status.

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.