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TheDairySite Newsletter - 15 November 2013

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TheDairySite
Friday 15th November 2013.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley
Editor


Robots to Herd Cows and Walk Fields

Time, input and environmental costs on grassland dairy farms could be cut thanks to innovative robots being developed in Australasia.

Staff at AgResearch New Zealand and the University of Sydney now have prototype machines that could impact daily farming routines.

Fields could be monitored and cows herded quietly and without the need for labour, saving time and promoting welfare.

In New Zealand, Agri-Rover, a fully autonomous vehicle is underway that will assess soil compaction, paddock cover and potentially even pasture quality.

Meanwhile, Professor Kendra Kerrisk, a dairy researcher at the University of Sydney together with the Australian Centre for Field Robotics is exploring new ways to herd cattle.

With lameness and welfare experts both prescribing that farmers assess their herding habits to reduce dermatitis and necrotic toe, moving cows at their own pace is an important prevention strategy in animal health.

“Cows aren’t fazed by it at all, the herding process is calm and effective,” said Dr Kerrisk.

Further work is needed to develop the machine into an all-terrain, practical farm device, but Dr Kerrisk is certain that welfare can be improved and time can be saved.

She added: “While the robot showed exciting potential for use on a dairy farm, it would need to be adapted to operate autonomously on the terrain of dairy and its programming customised for dairy applications.”

Dr Andrew Manson of AgResearch New Zealand, project leader on Agri-Rover acknowledges that affordability is important, despite all the hard work and expensive materials that go into making sophisticated equipment.

The machine is designed for all weathers and is able to report monitoring results to a mobile phone or a computer.

“Always in the back of our mind was keeping it affordable,” said Dr Manson, often a sticking point with new farm technologies.

The same high level innovation and expansion was exhibited at the world’s premier agricultural machinery event this week in Hanover, Germany.

A 25 tonne, 692 horsepower Case Quadtrac was presented at Agritechnica, remarkably different to the 240 volt Agri-Rover, but both capable of contributing to the productivity surge that agriculture must yield in the coming years.

Livestock sustainability experts can show that modern agriculture has been successful in producing more from less. In the US, 9 million dairy cows today produce more milk than 26 million cows did in the 1940’s.

Management, welfare, genetics and nutrition were essential to this growth, but experts emphasise that technology was too.

 


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This Week's Articles and Analysis

Understanding Tick Outbreak in New Zealand Part Two: Detection and Treatment
Ticks need to be controlled to prevent infections, North Island farmers have been warned amid a spate of Theileria orientalis cases to sweep across New Zealand.

Modern Dairying: The Robots Are Here
Milk production shows no signs of letting up in the quest for technology as Sydney University explores robotic herding.

Decisions That Determine Your Farm's Direction
Long-term decisions about business direction and profitability are more influential than macroeconomic fluctuations like milk and feed price, says a Virginia State Extension Agent.

Working to Limit Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis and Effect on Cattle Reproduction
Timing of Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis vaccinations needs to coincide with heifer cycles if high conception rates are to be achieved, writes Jillian Fain, University of Georgia.

Hail Storms Ruin Crops at Planting For Hope: November Newsletter
Apollo Saku is a farmer, agricultural academic and project leader for Planting for Hope Uganda, a sustainable wealth creation programme aimed at empowering rural communities through farming and cooperative schemes.

Company News

BIOMIN Celebrates Opening of Second Premix Facility in Viet Nam
VIET NAM - BIOMIN officiated the grand opening of its second premix plant in Viet Nam, a state-of-the-art facility located in Binh Duong province. The impressive 4.7-hectare fully-automated plant is capable of producing 60 tonnes of premix per day at full capacity.
Market Reports

UK September Agricultural Price Index - 14 November 2013
Irish CSO Reports: Agricultural Price Indices - September 2013
USDA GAIN: South Korea Dairy and Products Annual 2013
GB Animal Feed Statistical Notice - September 2013
USDA WASDE - 8 November 2013
USDA GAIN: Argentina Dairy and Products Annual 2013

Global Dairy Industry News

   United States

Daily Dairy Trading: Spot Prices Surge, Thursday
Crop Inputs and Dairy Perform Well For Land O'Lakes
Daily Dairy Trading: Milk Futures Climbing Higher
Daily Dairy Trading: Further Falls in Cheddar Prices, Tuesday
Daily Dairy Trading: Small Increases to Open Trading Week
Corn, Soybean Futures Gain Following Not-So-Bearish USDA Report Friday; Wheat Steady
Daily Dairy Trading: Blocks Topple But Stay Ahead of Barrels, Friday
Call to FDA to Report Additional Data on Antibiotic Usage on the Farm
Daily Dairy Trading: Butter Trades Unchanged at $1.5600, Thursday

   United Kingdom

New Arla Foods Dairy Ticks Sustainable Box
More Tuberculosis Herd Information to Inform Cattle Buying
CAP Allocation 'Fair' Across UK
Skills Summit Focuses Industry on New Age of Professionalism
Farming Unions in Joint Welcome CAP Allocation
Call for Papers for 2014 Animal Welfare Conference

   Brazil

Veterinary Services Need To Strengthen Urgently
Change of Culture for Brazilian Processor BRF

   Chile

Good Traceability Record Attracts EU Attention

   Global

Sewage Is Killing Cattle All Over the World
£13M India-UK Collaboration in Farmed Animal Health and Disease
European Group for Research EPIZONE Adds CReSA as Latest Member
Continued Growth Expected in Organic Markets
FAO Expects More Balanced Food Markets, Less Price Volatility
Vital Genetics Recognised by Development Plan
FMD NEWS: EuFMD e-learning: New Tools for New Challenges
Environmental Management Systems: Are They Just Hot Air?
EuFMD e-learning: New Tools for New Challenges

   China

Chinese Were First Cattlemen, Jaw Bone Study Reveals
Company to Build Third Feed-Premix Plant in China

   Nicaragua

Animal Health Programme to Be Justified With Cost-Efficiency Study
Government Steps in To Address Cattle Prices

   Netherlands

Animal Production Research Brings Together Fruits of European Efforts

   Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan Hits Farming Heartland

   European Union

Modified Gene in Oil Seed Rape Declared Safe For Consumers

   Paraguay

Disease Updates For Foot and Mouth for Panama and Peru

   Namibia

Desperate Farmers Break Sewage Lagoons to Nourish Cattle

   New Zealand

Farmers Welcome Freshwater Policy Statement

   Ireland

Important to Scrutinize Environmental Schemes Across Ireland

   Mauritius

Government Notified of 'Violent' and 'Tragic' Alleged Welfare Breach

   Malaysia

Farmers, Livestock Breeders, Fishermen Must Be More Innovative, Says PM

   Lebanon

Lebanese Ministry Spending $2.66M Yearly on Livestock Health

   France

Farmers Alerted After Rabies Kills Kitten

   Australia

Struggle for Warrambool Cheese Needs Farmer Debate

   Japan

Message of European Food Quality Heads to Japanese and Koreans

   India

Religion and Genetics: Simplifying India's Dairy Farming

   Canada

Growing Competitiveness Initiatives to Help Young Farmers

   Germany

Antimicrobial Resistance: From Monitoring to Preventive Measures

Events/Promotions

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