【DE】With a view to the EuroTier 2022 – efficient management of stoves and operations: Digital tools illuminate production processes in more detail than ever before

With a view to the EuroTier 2022 starting next week, it becomes clear that digitization has reached stables and farm animals. At the world’s leading trade fair for animal husbandry and livestock management, the buzzwords are from the 15th to the 18th. November “Smart Farming” and “Digital Animal Farming.”


At the exhibition center in Hanover, the exhibitors will present a wealth of key technologies that network herd and operational management, health monitoring as well as digital assistance systems and robotics – in real time, online and thanks to the app also mobile.


Rising costs for energy and feed, extreme weather conditions and new requirements to reduce carbon dioxide and nitrogen emissions – agriculture has never faced so many challenges as it is today. This makes it all the more important to produce efficiently and transparently. Digitalization can make an important contribution to this. This is shown by a representative survey by the German Agricultural Society (DLG) and the digital association Bitkom among 500 farms. According to this, more than two-thirds of the farmers surveyed in this country (68 percent) see digitization as a great opportunity for more sustainable agriculture. One third (32 percent) use farm or herd management systems and a quarter (24 percent) intelligent feeding systems, some of which can put together the feed for individual animals in such a way that they emit less climate-damaging methane.


“The companies recognize the opportunities offered by the digital solutions,” summarizes Dr. Bernhard Rohleder summarized the results of the survey. Nevertheless, the Bitkom Managing Director calls for farmers to provide more support in the introduction of technology, because the vast majority of farms (83 percent) see investment costs as an obstacle that slows down the digitization of agriculture the most.


Assistance systems for intelligent livestock farming


New stable concepts and digital assistance systems offer a low-threshold entry into smart farming and are the basis for intelligent and resource-saving management. They are therefore available from the 15th to the 18th. November at the center of EuroTier 2022. The exhibitors present numerous solutions in Hanover to make the processes in livestock farming and agriculture more efficient. From sensors and controls to solutions for the IT infrastructure to management systems, all the necessary components can be found at the exhibition center to raise livestock farming to the next level of networking – in the spirit of “Transforming Animal Farming”, the motto of this year’s EuroTier.


Farmers learn not only at the stands, but also in the Forum Rind in Hall 12 which assistance systems are currently available on the market, for example, for cattle farming, and what they do. A highlight right at the beginning of the first day of the fair is the lecture by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Büscher from the University of Bonn, who addresses the current status and challenges of digitization in dairy cattle husbandry. Büscher is spokesman for the CattleHub experimental field, a project funded by the Ministry of Agriculture that validates different assistance systems and strives for specific improvements in the areas of tracking, sensors, radio networking and energy supply. The use of artificial intelligence should also be tested and contribute to higher forecasting certainties in data analysis. The knowledge gained in the project is then to be transferred to practical cattle farming.


Every animal at a glance around the clock


The herd and farm management systems shown at EuroTier provide farmers with innovative functions with which they can optimize their daily routines. The efficient use of feed, comparative analysis of animal data or animal health parameters are just some of the tasks that a herd management system has to cope with. The following applies: The more transparent the data situation about each individual animal, the more efficient and responsible the farmer can manage his herd. One reason why systems for determining the position of cows have increasingly found their way into agricultural practice for several years, because safe detection is a prerequisite for the correct assignment of the recorded animal-specific data and herd management based on it.


Almost all major milking technology manufacturers at the exhibition center in Hanover offer corresponding solutions in the form of neck transponders and/or pedometers. They record data on the individual lying, resting and activity times. This is represented, for example, by “CowScout” from GEA – a sensor collar that continuously determines the location of each individual cow. It records the activity of the animals around the clock using specific head movements and transmits the data to the herd management in real time. By means of the alarm function, the collar provides immediate indications of feeding or health problems, which can be responded to quickly and specifically.


Health monitoring at the push of a button


Real-time detection also provides insights into the health status of the individual cows. In this way, it enables farmers to quickly assess the success of veterinary treatments in order to achieve the best possible recovery of the animals with optimized treatment costs. For example, the EuroTier exhibitor Allflex offers corresponding health monitoring tools with the “Livestock Intelligence” applications. Dairy farmers enable them to detect problems such as ketosis, rennet stomach displacement or metritis at an early stage. Suspicious animals can be separated via the herd management system and treated specifically if necessary. In the long term, the use of antibiotics can be kept to a minimum.


In addition to monitoring important health parameters and heat detection, the herd and farm management programs shown in Hanover also offer the opportunity to observe and evaluate the feeding behavior and calving behavior of the animals. An animal file can be used to analyze the weight curves per breed and sex of the individual animals as well as the weight progress per group. In this context, digitization also means that farmers can access this data not only on the PC in the office, but also on mobile devices directly on site in the stable. But that’s not all: The automatic milking systems can also be networked with herd management via appropriate interfaces. In this way, the amount of milk given by a cow and additionally various quality parameters for the fat, protein and lactose content as well as the cell numbers can be documented.


Feeding under control


In addition, the daily evaluation of the data allows a quick adaptation and demand-oriented optimization of the feed rations. Farmers can thus improve their feeding strategy by quickly recognizing how their cows react even to small changes such as new feed varieties, new suppliers and mixture changes. The effects of ration adjustments can be determined within a few hours and enable informed feeding decisions. The overview of long-term trends lasting several months offers feed specialists additional insights for evaluating rations and changes. Feeding can be completely automated by removing the basic and concentrated feed quantities from the storage containers according to a predetermined recipe. Once the recipe for each mixture and the feeding intervals have been entered once at the operating terminal, the robot does everything else – for all animal groups and several times a day at fixed times. He lets them be monitored and controlled conveniently from mobile devices at any time.


From 15th to 18th November, visitors to EuroTier 2022 will receive practical insights into both automatic feeding and de-mearing technology. A large number of autonomous robots equipped with innovative sensor technology can be found at the exhibition center. Equipped with the latest battery technology, they drive purely electrically and can be operated in an environmentally friendly way with renewable energies. How feeding strategies with such systems can be precisely implemented in your own company is a topic that is also discussed in the Forum Rind in Hall 12.




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