Robinson, New Zealand

Achieving goals using monitoring technology

Background

A fourth-generation farmer at Waikuku, North Canterbury, Alastair Robinson is making use of high performance technology to achieve goals on his farm. He has chosen a cow monitoring system, SenseTime TM by Allflex, to assist him in reaching his management goals. The SenseTime system delivers actionable information on the reproductive, health, nutritional and wellbeing status of individual cows and groups. Primarily purchased for mating, Alastair planned to fit 200 SenseTime collars a month and had a total of 425 collars on when the Allflex team caught up with him in July. He started with the empty cows he is mating for autumn and the early autumn cavers that he is starting to mate now. Alastair says the SenseTime system is already having an impact on heat detection and insemination accuracy. “It has been really helpful and accurate so far, the collars have picked up cows that staff have missed, including one silent heat.” The SenseTime system also fits with his current automations and in-shed feeding facilities

“It has been really helpful and accurate so far, the collars have picked up cows that staff have missed, including one silent heat.”
Alastair Robinson, New Zealand

Gaining confidence

The farm uses pedigree straws at approximately $40 per straw. If cows are inseminated on a false heat, the cost of wasted straws and heat patches can add up very quickly. “We won’t see the full benefit until we have them on longer but I can easily see it saving us $20-$30 per cow per year,” Alastair says. They currently use the system twice a day, after each milking, by monitoring the heat graphs for specific cows. “We monitor the cow’s optimum mating window and if she is a little early, we hold off inseminating until the next milking,” Alastair says. “It is great, I feel confident we are inseminating at the right time and are not missing any.”