The start of the autumn calving season for dairy cows has marked an important milestone in the partnership between AI Services and IceRobotics which aims to boost fertility and herd health in dairy cows and the dairy sector.

AI Services is NI’s first commercial advocate for CowAlert, the ground-breaking fertility, lameness and herd health monitoring technology developed by IceRobotics.

Collaborating since Dec 2018, the partnership has resulted in a 70% increase in the number of NI dairy farmers using CowAlert, exceeding all initial targets for the innovative herd management system.

According to Ivan Minford, Product Manager, AI Services, within this short timeframe, CowAlert’s proven technology is delivering unprecedented results in terms of heat detection accuracy and wider health benefits.

Speaking at a team update and training session, Ivan said:

“As the dairy sector primes itself for the calving season, we would urge farmers to consider the longer-term benefits of investing in CowAlert. It’s vital to get cows back into prime health, post calving and this is where the technology really delivers, as it acts as the farmer’s eyes and ears, monitoring the herd on a 24/7 basis, offering accuracy and reliability.”

Drawing attention to the wider health issues affecting the herd he added:

Lameness detection, lying time and changes in behaviour all impact on the animal’s fertility. Spotting and treating these problems at the earliest stage can significantly boost productivity, so the investment quickly pays for itself and delivers long-term cost efficiencies.”

Willie Cuthbertson, National Account Manager of IceRobotics added: “Our partnership with AI Services is working really effectively, thanks to their expertise, reach and regard across NI’s dairy sector. The response from the farming community has been really positive, creating a strong platform on which to build our network in the months ahead.”

In addition to delivering regular product updates and training sessions to the AI Services’ team, the company’s fleet of vans and vehicles now include the IceRobotics/CowAlert branding to highlight the strength of the partnership.