How Internet of Cows (IoC) the farm monitoring mechanism is redesigning Dairy Management
The Internet of Things is commonly associated with smart home control devices, wearables like the FitBit, vehicles and other device equipped objects that connect to the internet and exchange data. But have you ever heard about the Internet of Cows (IoC)? We rarely ever think of applications of IoT in the context of non-device-based things, like a “Cow” for example.
Traditional farm monitoring has become impasse. Between milking, feeding and maintaining the farm, farmers face challenges with effectively managing their cattle. Hence, there is a need for an innovative system that can impact the productivity while simultaneously improving farmer’s life. Animal sensors precision technology is already making its mark. Who knew something as unexpected as a cow had the potential of playing a role in the Internet of Things.
These biosensors gadgets or biometers are designed to survive even the toughest environments in the farm while constantly measuring data. This data is being analysed on the cloud in terms of the number of steps the cows take during the day. Using and applying technology to detect the patterns of heat detection, conception and pregnancy rate can tremendously improve the farm produce quality and also, the standard of living for animals. These sensors effectively serve as a heat map for farmers.
Sensors and wearable devices implanted in animals can measure body temperatures, pH levels, observe and analyse behaviour, movements, patterns, detect illness and viruses pushing the data online to be analysed. However, there are applications that can be built without the use of sensors and devices that connect directly too which can become increasingly accessible.
Dutch tech company Connecterra is one of several companies putting the Internet of Things to work in agriculture. It has designed a sensor-packed necklace for cows that comes with a companion app. Cows have a fairly standard behaviour, so from the behavioural data, farmers can fairly accurately assess what is going on. For example, farmers can set up the app so that the system gives a signal if a cow has a sore leg. The collar has a range of 1Km, the system is designed so that farmers can set up remote field access points to help increases coverage across farms of larger scale.
North Carolina (NC) based AAD has designed a portable dairy testing device which can monitor elevated white blood cells in livestock and act as a gauge in the detection of mastitis, which causes inflammation of the udders. The start-up’s technology promotes reduced use of antibiotics in cows while ensuring health and welfare of those animals who need treatment.
India-based Stellapps, which offers a cloud-based farm and herd management system, tracks cow metrics including fertility and steps of activity with its tracking devices, promising internet-based health alerts and increased productivity for farms.
The emergence of the ‘Internet of Cows’ sector has given farmers more options to help manage the health of their cattle. For example, most cows get milked twice a day, but if you know one is getting mastitis, you can milk the cow four times a day to help flush it out and avoid antibiotics. In terms of putting “things” on the internet, we’re starting to see new and innovative applications every day and the cow on the internet is a perfect metaphor for the potential that lies ahead.