Feed input-milk output, Feed conversion rate, Optimum feed conversion rate. These are the defining economic benchmarks of efficient milk production. All correct of course in the context of input costs versus output return, but the missing link, is the bit in the middle, you know the principal asset, the cow herself, a wonderful salient being that does feel injury, does feel pain and is in discomfort at times, who after all is the conversion driver for all this economic benchmarking and who delivers a wonderful product on our behalf.
Since we first sat on a tennis chairs conducting cow behaviour research way back in the late nineties, it has always been abundantly clear, that the only way to truly maximise economic return and efficiency i.e adopt a more sustainable approach, would be to know the identity of every animal and where that animal is at all times, know what she is doing, when, how often she is doing it etc. This so we can monitor more precisely, have alert systems and action-decision support tools that can support the management of every individual cow on a continual real time basis. Impossible then, but possible now.
That is, we put the cow front and centre for driving food chain sustainability.The million cow program will harness the power of real time technology to generate a new wave of innovative production platforms, cow indexes and value add applications that will benefit the cow primarily, the farm and respective food chains.
Ultimately, it will mean a reduction in antibiotic, hormone use and the creation of efficient, sustainable production systems and food chains with reduced carbon footprint, and all be critically based around happy cows. Cow centric sustainability.....quite simple really.