Collecting and measuring information from thousands of data points throughout a dairy operation is no small feat. Fortunately, today’s advances in on-farm technology make it easier to gain actionable insights into dairy herds.
Cainthus by Ever.Ag is an industry-leading technology solution advancing the possibilities with dairy data. It is one of an exclusive group of dairy technologies being highlighted at Western Kentucky University’s on-campus research dairy in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Dr. Jeffrey Bewley, Holstein Association’s Innovation Scientist, played a key role in bringing the Cainthus feedbunk, people, and protocols, monitoring capabilities to the research dairy now called the WKU SmartHolstein Lab.
“I’m very excited about the Cainthus technology. Computer vision continues to advance in so many ways, and Ever.Ag’s Cainthus solution has been able to bring that into the dairy space successfully.”
A Farm to Develop New TechnologyOfficially opening in July 2021, the WKU SmartHolstein Lab was designed through a strategic partnership between the Holstein Association and WKU’s Department of Agriculture and Food Science. A herd of 50 Holstein cows is at the center of the premier dairy research, development, and demonstration center. Today, the lab is utilizing over 30 different technologies to help educate students and dairy producers on the potential for new data and technology in the dairy industry. Dr. Bewley said he hopes the lab also provides a place where startup companies can test their latest innovations and ease the challenges of developing new technologies before they are implemented on commercial dairy farms. “We also want to explore how we can use new types of data and multiple data sources to support the industry,” Dr. Bewley said. “The Holstein Association is very interested in exploring the potential for new phenotyping information that can eventually be used in genetic evaluation.”
Partnering to Explore More Possibilities with DataThe capabilities of Cainthus first caught Dr. Bewley’s attention several years ago. His primary focus during his doctorate studies was automatic body condition scoring in dairy cattle. As a result, Cainthus’ computer vision technology was essential for Dr. Bewley to include in the SmartHolstein Lab.
“I’ve been impressed with the data Cainthus provides. Wearables have done and will continue to do wonderful things for the industry, but there is a lot of appeal to having a system that doesn’t involve something attached to every animal in the herd.” Dr. Bewley said. Dr. Bewley said he looks forward to working with Ever.Ag and sees the partnership as mutually beneficial going forward. For Ever.Ag, input from industry thought leaders helps guide the development of its industry-leading technology, ultimately allowing it to solve many of the time-consuming and costly challenges dairy producers face daily.
“Collecting all the data from a dairy operation and looking at your biggest deviations from month to month is the starting point of where to focus and pinpoint issues. That’s where Cainthus comes in – by generating valuable data that can be included in that deviation rank,” said Ryne Braun, Ever.Ag’s Segment Leader.