DeVries touts benefits of technology in dairy-cow feeding efficiency

Precision feeding technology can help ensure that dairy cows have high quality feed readily available, which results in more meals per day, more feed intake and higher milk production.

GREEN BAY – The recent Alltech Dairy School focused on utilizing technology to improve cow management and milk production.

The leadoff speaker was Professor Trevor DeVries, current research chair in Dairy Cattle Behavior and Welfare at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

DeVries is currently researching how optimizing nutrient delivery in dairy cows can help meet industry demand and increase production without over-supplementing their feed.

He noted that many people associate technology on twenty-first century dairy farms with robotic milking, but stressed that precision dairy management also includes technologies designed to automate other tasks such as cleaning, bedding, ventilation and feeding.

Labor challenges

DeVries stressed that labor shortages will be the driving force behind the implementation of technology on North American dairy farms well into the future. “In response to that we’re seeing the development of technology and automation at an exponential rate,” he said. 

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