"I think my investment in Nedap COWcontrol™ will pay for itself within two years."
About the farm
- Sandbostel, Germany
- 225 cows
- Cows kept in one large group
Make your farm future-proof
The benefits are even better than expected
Dairy farmer Andreas Poppe never expected to see such great benefits when he implemented a solution combining Nedap COWcontrol™ with Heat Detection, Health Monitoring and Cow Positioning. A year later, the farmer has achieved a significant reduction in calving intervals. What’s more, he has cut a total of two hours off the time he spends on heat detection and locating cows for insemination, and he can intervene at an earlier stage when cows are at risk of illness during the transition period.
Catch all cow heats at the right time
Poppe’s farm is located in Sandbostel in northwest of Germany. In recent years, the business has seen rapid expansion, with the size of the herd increasing to 225 cows. The farmer’s barn layout means the dairy cows are kept in a single large group. He was increasingly losing track of cows in heat, extending the calving interval to 460 days.
Calving interval reduced from 460 to 428 days
After taking advice from herd improvement company CRV, Poppe decided to purchase Nedap COWcontrol™ with Heat Detection system in winter 2014. As the business does not have a separation area, Cow Positioning was installed in the barn in February 2015. For the farmer, these investments have made a world of difference. “The system detects over 90 percent of in-heat cows in my herd,” he explains. “The predicted calving interval has already fallen to 428 days. I now manage to catch virtually all cows at exactly the right time.”Heat Detection
What would you do with your extra time?
Find cows fast
Another advantage is that Poppe is now able to quickly locate cows for insemination. “We used to attach a strap around the ankle of cows in heat during milking. Then, after milking, we had to search the entire barn to find the cows,” he explains. “Now, I just take a look on my phone after breakfast to see which cows are due for insemination that day. I prepare the straws, and, once I’m in the barn, I use my phone again to locate the cows.” If required, Poppe inseminates cows up to twice a day. “Before the new system, this would have simply been too time-consuming.”
Reduced hormone treatment
Poppe has also significantly reduced hormone treatment in his herd. Previously, he had to hormonally induce heat in around 8 to 10 cows per month, at a cost of 12 euros per cow — but this figure has now fallen to a maximum of 20 cows per year, saving the farmer “a lot of time and money.”
"I can intervene at an early stage."
Around calving time, Poppe finds the Health Monitoring option an incredibly useful tool. If the system warns him a cow is eating less than normal, he can take immediate action to prevent the cow from becoming ill. “As I can intervene at an early stage, I’m never in a situation where I need to really nurse a sick cow back to health,” Poppe says. “As a result, the cows get off to a much better start in lactation.”
Poppe has achieved a total time savings of two hours per day with all of the new systems combined. Initially, the system was only used by Andreas, but one of his two apprentices has now installed the app too. “If I’m not around, my apprentice can simply take over.”
A system that can pay for itself
Increased efficiency, shorter calving intervals and healthier cows
Furthermore, Nedap COWcontrol™ is linked to the ReproManager program from CRV, which makes it much easier to record animal data. “Before I installed it, I never would have believed that the system could bring so many benefits”, says Andreas. “It was quite a substantial investment, but I think it will have paid for itself within two years.”
He puts this success down to the combination of increased efficiency and shorter calving intervals. “And, of course, the fact that the cows are healthier,” Poppe says. “Thanks to Health Monitoring, a potentially sick cow is flagged before the situation becomes critical. This kind of thing can’t really be quantified in financial terms, but I know it is saving me a great deal of money.”Nedap COWcontrol™