Dairy Performance and its Relationship to Feed Management
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that the milk consumption rate per capita has doubled in developing countries since the 1960s and continues to grow. Dairy is a high-demand global industry with intense labor requirements, but it also offers major economic benefits. Developing countries could benefit greatly from these economic benefits but often lack the advanced technology necessary at the farm to make data driven decisions..
Quality, quantity and cost of livestock feed are a concern for large and smallholder farmers.
Appropriate protocols for both grain and pasture feeding require innovative nutrient sourcing, supervised dietary inventory, and careful genetic considerations for maintaining and producing healthy dairy cattle.
The production rate and quality of milk rely on strategies implemented during every stage of dairy production. Dietary requirements of cattle vary depending on age, health, breed, intended use, and season, but farmers without reliable systems for tracking find these variables difficult to manage.
Using the Dimitra Livestock Guru System, farmers around the world have access to a reliable platform that records farm-critical information such as feed management, grazing patterns, milk production, breeding and genetics, performance management, and more. Machine learning and artificial intelligence provide relevant insights to improve all aspects of dairy farming.
Feed is the primary cost of dairy agriculture in every country, followed by heifer raising and labor. Sufficient feeding patterns, access to clean drinking water, proper nutritional intake, and optimal digestibility are vital for dairy livestock to yield maximum production.
A comprehensive feed management system enables the formulation of rations according to the nutrient requirements of livestock and feeding strategies. It is a centralized place to monitor and analyze farm performance by using the reporting features, facilitating effective management of feed inventories.
The quality and quantity of nutrients in feed must be closely monitored to ensure optimal balance. A comprehensive feed management system allows farmers to supply, track, and diagnose the dietary needs of their livestock during maintenance, milk production, and reproduction phases throughout the farm.
Effective feed management includes:
- Nutritional intake guidelines for registered livestock
- Feed inventory control
- Ration formulation
- Feed cost management
- Optimal feed scheduling
- Feed effects on cow and herd health
- Production and performance analysis
- Cost Monitoring Benefits
- Feed Inventory management
- Ration Formulation
- Feed Analytics
- Pasture Management with Grazing
- Feed traceability
Livestock must have adequate nutrient availability to reach optimal milk production. Many farmers use digital systems to record daily operations, feeding management, and the status of individual livestock. By expanding the current tracking methods from birth to maturity, our Dimitra Livestock Guru provides farmers with every tool they need for livestock management.
Dimitra’s Livestock Guru feed management system design is based of the following three strategies:
Grazing Management of Dairy Livestock
Pastures are a vital resource to the livestock industry worldwide as they are a main source of feed for ruminant animals. To follow best practices that encourage healthy grazing and sustainable farming, farmers need reliable solutions that show them a 360-degree view of how their herd is grazing.
Dimitra Livestock Guru allows farmers to plan and make informed decisions that prevent overgrazing while following an effective management system to reach realistic production goals. This feed management IoT system lets farms reap the benefits of informative and efficient grazing:
- Overall animal welfare
- Increase in milk productivity
- Decrease in production costs
- Improving pasture ecosystems
- Raising forage crop yield
- Practicing sustainable pasture management
Grazing cows have been found to experience better health and quality of life than conventional indoor livestock. A three-year study in Switzerland found that cows who received processed feed in addition to a pasture-based diet had a decrease in milk quality. When farmers are informed of proper grazing management, they are given more opportunities to improve the quality of the milk.
Improving Dairy Cattle Milk Productivity & Quality
Milk yield and quality are immediate and generational concerns. In addition to animal health, several factors affect milk quality, including genetics, nutritional provision, environmental stress, age, as well as seasonal conditions.
With superior feeding and grazing management, farms can reach peak milk production and quality. That’s not the end goal, though. Farmers can now maintain the vitality of dairy livestock so well that genetic recording can identify cattle with the greatest potential for breeding high-yield dairy cows.
At Dimitra, we believe farmers deserve the best no matter where they are. From dairy feed management and cattle record keeping to advanced genetic technology programs, our Livestock Guru System gives farmers access to data banks they need to achieve goals that help their business and the planet.
With the genetic analytics critical to prime livestock mate selection, only the best dairy cattle are chosen for reproduction, furthering the production of top-quality milk at higher volumes year after year. Animal health and activity monitoring for needed interventions and predicting disease and productivity analysis to help make informed decisions are tools that farmers can benefit from. This gives farmers opportunities to enter more competitive markets, where they can continue to improve the farming and dairy demands of the world in a way that’s profitable, healthy, and environmentally responsible.
Learn more about dairy farming of the future at www.dimitra.io.