Information and communication technologies to support decision making in farm management, operation and input-output sides of dairy cow breeding and lactation
Different digital technologies are applied, digital sets of data collected and analysed at dairy cow farms pose barriers for the more unified, platform-based support for an increased and high quality output performance of dairy cows.
Through one data platform the professional management of the dairy farm will be able to test rationalising of breeding and lactation process. Forage waste can also be measured and minimalized, and by this exploitation of soil can be optimized. The stock management can be driven online. Digitally available data can be cross-checked. Cooperative management can align with the strategy of data driven decisions.
All necessary input information are available today, be those in digital or in other (non-digital) formats. Therefore information technology development would be/is first step for a dairy farm on the industry 4.0 road map. Main goal of this is the delivery of cost efficient use of resources. Through digital transformation of the dairy profession, as part of management decision making, key performance indicators can be transformed to leads that can be directly influenced independently of external effects.
Beneficiary is Bos Frucht Agrarian Cooperative, its partners or stakeholders are University of Kaposvár and several IT solutions providers. Further stakeholders are Milk Interprofessional Organization and Product Council, the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture, and similar sized dairy cow farms where similar investments are due or planned.
As regards the investment no financial information is available. Bos Frucht Agrarian Cooperative as of 2019 had 3000 dairy cows, making it the second biggest dairy farm in the country. Committed farm workers and professional management is a must besides the state of the art US technology in use.
Evidence of success
It is a data science software specialized to dairy herd management, that combines strong analytical background and business flair. It also develops data driven solutions from understanding business environment and cow health. Data management IT solutions are based on locally collected and used data may both increase environmental and economic performance of agricultural companies/cooperatives.
Need for IT support: data scientist/software developers to elaborate data platform for reports/decision support.
Available digital data to be structured for transformation-optimization.
Use analyses of cooperative measurements (e.g. dry material absorption/cow compared to yield/cow) as benchmarks.
Potential for learning or transfer
With reference to the thematic objective, the digitisation process in Hungary has been started at bigger, more capital intensive agrarian business units and farms, whilst at the smaller ones – as several of those are present in Somogy county and in South Transdanubia – it is slower and needs external references/assistance. As a consequence, this Bos Frucht Good Practice with demonstration and transfer potential play crucial role towards the rolling out of digitisation. The dairy farm owned by Bos Frucht Agrarian Cooperative with 3000 cows is located in Kazsok (Somogy county, 25 kms far from Kaposvár, the county seat). The farm was rebuilt in 2013 according to the highest technology standards that time (US model of dairy farms), offers high level learning for further dairy farms interested on their way to digitisation. In case Bos Frucht project results will become trendsetting in Central and Eastern Europe, innovation based relations are worth widening.