Bridging the digital divide in dairy

A long-time leader in ag innovation sees a big gap in dairy production that he says digital technology can help bridge. 

Aidan Connolly, who spent 25 years as Alltech’s chief innovation officer, says dairy farmers have done a tremendous job increasing milk production using relatively little information.

“It seems as though we’re doing a fantastic job, and we certainly have made huge progress in productivity. But we don’t really have a good sense of exactly how much a cow is eating or drinking on an average day.”

Speaking to Brownfield at the International Precision Dairy Farming Conference in Rochester, Minnesota Tuesday, he says the most successful dairies have and will continue to adopt digital tools.

“Clearly we are embracing the use of robots, particularly robots for milking cows (which) has been a big success. We’re embracing the use of sensors. And the next for me that is coming is cameras.”

Connolly, now president of AgriTech Capital, says camera imagery will allow farmers to digitally examine the welfare, behavior, and production of dairy cows.

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