DeLaval's Herd Navigator and the Rise of Dairy Robotics


“It’s all about doing more with less,” says Mark Futcher.

Futcher is the marketing manager of automatic milking systems for DeLaval, and he sees adoption of technology as a way to increase efficiencies on the farm.

One of Futcher’s focuses is FOSS & DeLaval Solution’s Herd Navigator System, a technology designed to identify milking cows in need of special attention. The system works by automatically sampling and analyzing milk during milking, evaluating levels of progesterone, lactate dehydrogenase, urea and beta hydroxybutryate. Using this information, the software can identify mastitis, reproductive status, metabolic disorders and feed protein balance. Besides coupling diagnostic information with a specific animal, Herd Navigator also recommends action plans to address her specific conditions.

Related: Dairy Genetics, Milking Technology and Lots of Cheese — A Recap of the Canadian Invasion at the World Dairy Expo

“The earlier we can assign a protocol and an issue that needs management, the less expensive and more opportune and successful the treatment,” Futcher said, explaining that the system identifies problems even before the cow shows clinical signs of disease.

RealAgriculture’s Lyndsey Smith caught up with Futcher at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show. In the following interview, they discuss the adoption of technology in Canada’s dairy industry, and Herd Navigator.

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