Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Tail paint replaced with automatic heat detection

An Otorohanga farm has done away with tail paint after becoming the first farm in New Zealand to pilot an automated heat detection system for cows.

The simple method uses an electronic circuit contained in an adhesive patch to replace tail paint and manual drafting in the shed. The patch is activated once pressure is applied and cows are automatically sorted at the gate for mating. The system can be used in any shed and farming system.

Robbie Van Der Poel operates a dairy farm with 400 cows in Otorohanga and is the first to test the technology.

“I like the simplicity of the patches, anyone can use this in a way that minimises labour – we now have one less labour unit in the cowshed,” explained farmer Robbie Van Der Poel. “You can do the whole herd in one milking ready to send out the next day, and it’s a one-off cost.”

Milking technology company DeLaval, which has launched HeatGate, powered by DeLaval and Estroscan, says the effectiveness of automated heat detection can result in improved submission and in-calf rates.

“We’re focused on the technology that farmers need to lift their profitability and manage the health of their animals without increases in labour requirements,” said Peter Wilson, Solution Manager, Herd Management from DeLaval. “We’ve seen about 231 more days in milk on our test farm as a result of automating heat detection alone.”

“In our first mating we had a 7% increase in our 3 week in-calf rate so that basically means more cows in calf earlier, more days in milk, more money in my pocket,” confirmed Mr Van Der Poel.

DeLaval HeatGate can be installed and operated in any cow shed and any farming system, either using a hand-held operator, a standalone fixture on any gate without requiring a connection to a centralized data management system, or in conjunction with a DeLaval sortgate.

“Before HeatGate we were using a traditional tail paint system, how I was taught. Now the cows are automatically drafted out and they’re there waiting for me to deal with after milking,” said Mr Van Der Poel.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


$7.5 Billion Surplus: Government Accounts "Show Strong Economy"

“The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more on infrastructure and make record investments in health and education,” Grant Robertson says. More>>


New OIO Application Trumps Judicial Review: OceanaGold Cleared To Buy Land For Waihi Tailings Expansion

In a surprise turnaround, the government has given OceanaGold a greenlight to buy land to expand its Waihi mine after the application was previously turned down by Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage. More>>


Christchurch Rebuild: Fletcher Sued For $7.5m Over Justice Precinct

Fletcher Building is being sued for $7.5 million by utilities contractor Electrix, one of the subcontractors on the Christchurch Justice and Emergency Services Precinct. More>>

Three New Drugs: PHARMAC Signs Bundle Deal For More Cancer Medicines

420 New Zealanders with lung cancer, breast cancer, multiple sclerosis and respiratory disease will benefit each year from a bundle deal PHARMAC has finalised with a medicine supplier. More>>


"Levels Playing Field": Government Responds To Electricity Price Review

The changes announced today include: • Supporting new and independent retailers by requiring the big power companies to sell into the wholesale market at affordable rates. • Extending discount rates to all customers • A pilot scheme to help customers who have not switched power providers before to shop around for better deals... More>>