We commonly think of wearables for people and wearables for machines. However, it turns out that cows now have their own wearables and “cow chip” has a whole new—and less malodorous—meaning. And apparently the cows are milking it for all it’s worth, on their own.
Precision farming, or precision agriculture, is essentially farm management based on numbers. Since the numbers have to have a real-world cognate, we need to figure out what they are and find something to measure them. Precisely. The real upside of this is that the better you manage the numbers, the longer you get to sleep in the morning.
A recent article in the Canadian Globe and Mail details the possibilities when your cattle enter the 21st century. A farmer in Center Brook, Newfoundland previously had to follow a strict schedule of 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. milkings. Now, not only do the cows take themselves to “robotic” milking stations on their own time, they also wear FitBit-type necklaces that track each cow’s health and activity.
The newspaper article doesn’t mention any specific products, but two companies seem to be leaders in this area: Lely and SCRDairy. Lely’s mission is to “help our customers in sustainable milk production, forage harvesting and energy sourcing,” while SCRDairy claims to be a world leader “dairy cattle management and monitoring systems.”
Sounds good to us. Especially that “sleeping later in the morning” thing.