|1.9.2022 – 31.12.2024
|Häme University of Applied Sciences (administrator), Natural Resources Institute Finland
|This EIP-project is funded by the Rural Development Programme for Mainland Finland 2014–2020 from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
|210 702,40 €, of which the EU contribution is 100%.
The EIP Älyjuoma-automaatti 2022 project develops a technology for measuring cow water consumption on an individual level. By monitoring water consumption data, deviations in the well-being of cows at the individual and livestock levels are detected earlier than before. Climate change causes variation in the quality of feed, so the importance of eating and drinking volumes monitoring well-being will be emphasised in the future. By comparing the amount of drinking with milk production, the feed efficiency of an individual cow can be estimated and utilised in processing to achieve cost and emission savings.
Today, dairy cattle produce about 10 000 kg of milk per year per cow on average. The large portion of the carbon footprint in dairy production is related to feed production and digestion. Some estimates predict that, in the future, genetic selection allows reducing feed intake needed to produce one liter of milk from current 0.80 kilograms to 0.68–0.74 kilograms. In this project, we aim to enable that reduction and simultaneously enhance animal well-being through monitoring the drinking amounts of each individual cow. In addition to reducing the climate cost of dairy production, the climate change already increases the nutrient variance in the grasslands and produced feed, thus emphasizing the need for resiliency and development in cattle farming.
It has been shown that feed intake amount and composition have strong correlation to the need for drinking. Using this correlation, the other way, we plan that by knowing how much and when a cow has drunk, the farmer would know that the feed was good and cow is healthy and, furthermore, by comparing the drinking amount with milk yield, the breeder would have the date to enhance the feed-to-milk efficiency of individuals. To achieve these goals, we design a measurement setup that recognizes cow individuals and measures the water intake at the given time; and has the commercial viability to be scaled to practitioners’ farms. Pilot versions of the setup or optional setups are to be built during the project and tested on innovation group farms.
The main target group of the project is dairy farms with their stakeholders in the Finnish region nationally and possibly globally.
Senior Research Engineer