DeLaval and LIC Automation announce cooperation
04 May 2016
Two of the major players in the NZ dairy industry have announced a collaboration agreement for the benefit of New Zealand dairy farmers. DeLaval and LIC Automation have been working closely together to develop an automated Body Condition Scoring (BCS) measurement system for NZ-bred dairy cows.
Combining DeLaval’s BCS Camera system with LIC Automation’s technology and knowledge of the NZ herd characteristics, has enabled both companies to show and introduce the automated Body Condition Scoring System to the NZ market at Fieldays in June 2016.
“We are very pleased to be partnering with LIC Automation,” says Andrew Pooch, Regional President of DeLaval Oceania. “It eliminates commercial barriers and will provide all New Zealand dairy farmers with the opportunity for Body Condition Scoring to be fully automated, eliminating the guesswork and labour hours associated with a manual system. This approach also complements our combined knowledge for the development and continued validation of this new automatic system. This could not be more timely with the new Animal Evaluation Process in place in New Zealand since February 2016, which now includes Body Condition Score as a new trait in Breeding Worth (BW).”
LIC Automation is the wholly owned subsidiary of dairy farmer-owned co-operative LIC, who provide a range of services and solutions to New Zealand dairy farmers including dairy genetics and information.
“Collaboration in innovative technology between organisations such as DeLaval and LIC Automation is critical in providing the best solutions possible to farmers that increases productivity and prosperity on farm,” says Paul Whiston, CEO of LIC Automation. “Automating the Body Condition Scoring process will deliver greater consistency and more granular data to farmers to assist in their decision making and management of their herd to optimise their business.”
The DeLaval BCS is the world’s first automated Body Condition Scoring system. The technology is based on a 3D camera and once a cow passes under the camera, the system recognises the movement and selects the best still image of the cow in the video sequence. The image is converted into an accurate Body Condition Score and can be accessed via DeLaval’s herd management system DelPro or LIC’s herd management system MINDA.
With the fully automatic DeLaval Body Condition Scoring the farmer has a powerful management tool at their disposal. It allows the farmer to plan and optimise feeding according to a cow’s position on the BCS curve ensuring they have the ideal body condition throughout the lactation cycle.
To keep cows at the ideal condition during lactation will;
- Ensure maximum milk yield out of the feed
- Improve conception rate
- Minimize calving and post calving problems
New Zealand farmers will now be able to benefit from this powerful system that will be sold through the existing DeLaval dealer network as an integrated module of the DelPro herd management system as well as through LIC Automation where it is integrated into the Protrack system