Dash­board drives cow de­ci­sions

Dairy News Australia - - MANAGEMENT -

GIPP­S­LAND DAIRY farmer Peta Barlow knows about herd test­ing – from both sides of the fence.

Peta works at Yar­ram Herd Ser­vices and also runs a 130-cow dairy herd at nearby Jack River which is herd tested 12 times a year.

The herd is made up of Hol­steins, Aussie Red and Jer­seys and milks year round with three dis­tinct calv­ing pe­ri­ods in March, May and July.

“Be­ing on both sides of the Herd Test sys­tem gives me a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive on the in­for­ma­tion avail­able from Herd Test re­ports and the new DataGene Herd Test Dash­Board re­port,” Peta said.

“The Herd Test Dash­board is only rel­a­tively new but Yar­ram Herd Ser­vices were in­volved dur­ing its de­vel­op­ment so I got our herd in­volved as soon as it was avail­able.

“The Herd Test Dash­board gives you a pic­ture of what is hap­pen­ing in the herd and which cows need closer at­ten­tion.

“It’s a free ser­vice and gives you more value from the in­for­ma­tion col­lected dur­ing herd test­ing.”

The Dash­board re­port cov­ers two pages on the in­di­vid­ual herd and is ac­com­pa­nied by two pages which ex­plain the terms, what lev­els trig­ger alerts and the ac­tion re­quired to deal with alerts iden­ti­fied in the re­port

The first page of the Herd Test Dash­Board gives a herd over­view. It sets out the over­all herd cell count, the in­ci­dence of chronic and clin­i­cal mas­ti­tis, as well as the per­cent­age of calv­ing time mas­ti­tis in cows and heifers, the risk of aci­do­sis and ke­to­sis, re-calv­ing in­ter­vals at 365 and 400 days and the av­er­age cow yield.

It also in­cludes a herd pro­file with a break­down of the herd size, in­clud­ing milk­ing cows, fresh cows, drys, culls, sold cows, uniden­ti­fied sires and the trends which are show­ing up be­tween re­ports.

The se­cond page fea­tures in­di­vid­ual cows which are ap­proach­ing trig­ger points for a range of pa­ram­e­ters such as in­di­vid­ual cell counts mas­ti­tis, aci­do­sis, ke­to­sis, re-calv­ing in­ter­vals and cow yield and can be used by a farmer to fol­low up with a vet or nutri­tion­ist.

“The se­cond page gives me a list of in­di­vid­ual cows which are trig­ger­ing an alert for one or more ar­eas,” Peta said.

“The fig­ures for in­di­vid­ual cows fea­tures on the se­cond page are all coloured coded ac­cord­ing to the sever­ity of the is­sue, with se­ri­ous is­sues shaded red and less se­ri­ous is­sues shaded green.

“I can look at trends in the herd be­tween herd tests and also watch in­di­vid­ual cows who may stay on the alert page from one month to the next.

“In the past when I only had the usual herd test data I re­ally only looked at cell counts and in­di­vid­ual cow fig­ures.

“With the new Herd Test Dash­Board I can now see a whole lot of in­for­ma­tion on the herd – and on in­di­vid­ual cows which need mon­i­tor­ing or at­ten­tion - in one re­port. It’s a great man­age­ment tool be­cause it cov­ers health in­di­ca­tors and per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors.

“If a cow gets flagged on the cows list then I can look at the cow’s in­di­vid­ual herd test re­sults in more de­tail and make a de­ci­sion based on what is go­ing on with the in­di­vid- ual cow and what ac­tion to take.”

Peta be­lieves the Herd Test Dash­board re­port would be an as­set in larger herds where a num­ber of peo­ple were in­volved in herd man­age­ment, by sim­pli­fy­ing the herd test data and giv­ing ev­ery­one in­volved in the herd a snap­shot of what was hap­pen­ing and which cows to look for.

“The Herd Test Dash­board is a fantastic re­source if you had a num­ber of peo­ple deal­ing with a larger herd,” Peta said.

“You can print out copies for ev­ery­one or send the re­port to your staff via email or to their phones. It helps make sure ev­ery­one knows what is hap­pen­ing in the herd and which cows needed at­ten­tion.

“The last two pages can be lam­i­nated and left in places like the dairy or staff fa­cil­i­ties so peo­ple can re­fer to the de­scrip­tions in the re­port when they need to.”

The DataGene Herd Test Dash­board is a free ser­vice and can be de­liv­ered with herd test re­ports or when­ever re­quested. It was de­vel­oped by DataGene with the sup­port of Dairy Aus­tralia and the Aus­tralian herd record­ing sec­tor.

• Ar­ti­cle sup­plied by DataGene.

Peta Barlow likes be­ing able to see a whole lot of in­for­ma­tion on the herd and alerts for in­di­vid­ual cows in a sin­gle re­port, the Herd Test Dash­board.

Peta works at Yar­ram Herd Ser­vices and also runs a 130-cow dairy herd at nearby Jack River.

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