How cattle bolus technology can instantly flag up issues surrounding rumen health, oestrus and calving will be under the spotlight at DairyTech 2018.

The smaXtec boluses from Moletech Services automatically monitor cow activity, temperature and pH and relay any fluctuations in the norm to the farmer via their smart phone or computer system.

Nick Barradale of Molecare Vets says this unique smart farming system puts “Your herd’s health in your pocket,” enabling any health issues to be picked up and addressed promptly and labour to be reduced.

He explains: “The whole ethos of this sensor technology is to precede disease and reduce the impact of disease on productivity and the resultant therapy required. As a vet, I’m super keen on data, but only if it’s used. The beauty of smaXtec is that it’s automated so it circumvents the need to do analysis as you have immediate health and bulling alerts.”

The combination of information collected by the boluses also gives producers added confidence about what issues are being picked up by the system.

For example, a drop in temperature of 0.5C and a drop in activity can be a sign a cow is about to calve. Generally, the smaXtec system has been shown to alert farmers to a calving cow, 6-24 hours before calving due to reduced body temperature and activity. Heat detection sensitivity also sits at 95%.

As part of the smaXtec service, the farmer can access herd specific reports to enable trends to be analysed and performance to be benchmarked. This is a particularly useful tool in promoting a combined approach to herd management with the farm team, vet and nutritionist.

MoleTech has also launched the HerdInsights smart collar for those farmers who prefer to use an external monitoring device. The collars analyse time spent feeding, standing, and lying down, offering a useful insight into cow activity – and thereby health – as well as heat detection and embryo losses.

“A bolus has the advantage of internal sensitivity, while a collar can be moved from one cow to another,” explains Mr Barradale. “Every farm is different and we want to provide a competitive solution to meet individual preferences.”

>> To find out more about smaXtec and Herd Insights, visit the Innovation Hub at 11.30am at DairyTech 2018.