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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EVAM experimental farm in Spain

Authors: Marta Terré, Aranzazu Varvaró, Aida Xercavins (IRTA) - April 23, 2018

IRTA (Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology) has recently transformed a conventional dairy cow farm to an avant-garde experimental farm with innovative sensors and technologies. The project is called “EVAM” (by its initials in Catalan), and started in 2017.

The EVAM milking parlour (Tecnozoo)

Selective dry cow treatment: which cow to treat?

Author: Kristine Piccart (ILVO) - April 16, 2018 - Orginal sources: AHDB, Eurodairy

Blanket dry cow therapy, meaning all cows receive an infusion of antimicrobials in their 4 quarters at dry off, has been standard practice for years. However, with growing concerns for antimicrobial resistance, more farms are shifting towards selective dry cow therapy. This means you are only going to treat the animals that are suspected of having an infection. But how do you select the cows that should get antimicrobials? Having good records of clinical mastitis cases and somatic cell counts is the foundation, according to this AHDB video.

Grazing season has started in the Netherlands!

Author: Tamara Wind (VHL) - April 13, 2018 

Now that winter is over, we have started to monitor the grass growth and the soil temperature since the 1st of April. In the last two weeks, the pasture was wet. But this was followed up by a few warm days (20 degrees Celsius and sunny), so now it is time for the grass to recover. Tuesday I was walking in the pasture and measuring the grass growth with the grass altimeter: the grass was showing remarkable recovery! New young grass blades are coming up, with the soil degree around 8,5 degrees Celsius. It is possible now for the grasses to grow!

A Romanian record: 100.000 liters of milk

Author: Livia Vidu (USAMV) - Date: April 9, 2018

Pictured: Sorina, the first cow in Romania to reach a production of 100.000 liters of milk 

A while ago, an unusual event took place in Romania; a cow has achieved more than 100 000 liters of milk in their lifetime. This event has been a premiere for Romania, it is the first cow that produces such a large amount of milk. The name of the cow is Sorina, of the Holstein breed and was born on April 23, 2007 on the Agroserv Mariuța farm.

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.