Writing cow numbers on pieces of paper will soon be a thing of the past on New Zealand dairy farms.

Cow collars and other wearables are now passing cows’ heat information to MINDA with more events such as health alerts and pregnancy diagnosis set to follow in the next few months.

LIC chief executive Wayne McNee says the company wants to maximise the value farmers get from investing in technology.

“The goal is in the future that MINDA will connect with everything.”

In mid-October LIC developed a new application in MINDA for heats detected by Afimilk, Datamars, Cow Manager and GEA CowScout cow wearables to be automatically uploaded.

Allflex cow collars are already connected to MINDA through the Protrack drafting gate.

“Some other drafting gates have work-arounds they use for the information to be shared between applications,” he says.

Either formal contracts and commercial agreements, such as with CRV, or data sharing between the different companies are used or will be.

“Our approach is we want to work with everyone, so all farmers, whatever system they buy, can use it to enter information into MINDA.”

The MINDA app is already well used on farms, he says, with more users of it than there are dairy farms.

“It means there are a lot of farm staff who have it on their phones and are entering calving information and other events directly into MINDA as events happen.”

Entering cow tag numbers from the yellow notebook at a later date is becoming a thing of the past.

LIC is also looking at further connecting the Datamate, which AB technicians use to record matings onfarm, to MINDA so farmers would no longer have to write tag numbers in mating books.

Instead a cow wearable will detect a heat, the cow will be drafted automatically without farmer intervention and the cow’s number will be in the Datamate ready for the technician.

“The less people who have to read cow tags and write down numbers the better the information that is going into MINDA,” he says.

But it is not just cows which are the focus but all farming activities with agreements sought from dairy, fertiliser and even finance companies for data sharing and use in LIC’s subsidiary Agrigate.

“There is a lot of potential for information sharing that will make it easier for farmers in the future.”