Predicta GUARDIAN update – Autoconfiguration

The latest buzzword – AI! Friend or foe for dairy farmers? Check out our latest improvements using AI to help improve cow milk production.  

In this news article we will discuss transition cow diseases and how they are often undiagnosed thus impacting profitability and sustainability. We will then focus on the power of AI in helping dairy producers and lastly, we will look into the latest developments we have made to our direct to farmer offering.  

Enjoy this 5 minute read!

The meaning and impact of subclinical ketosis in dairy cows. 

Ketosis in dairy cows refers to a metabolic state in which the cow is struggling to meet her energy needs. When she doesn't show any symptoms, this is known as subclinical ketosis. Sublicincal Ketosis is a common condition in cows especially during the transition period from late gestation to early lactation, when energy demands increase, and energy taken up from feed is also reduced.

The impact of subclinical ketosis is very significant in the dairy industry. Subclinical ketosis can make the cow eat less, produce less milk and decrease her fertility. Not to mention increased risk for other transition cow diseases such as retained placenta, milk fever or displaced abomasum. Moreover, subclinical ketosis depresses the immune system and makes the milking cow more vulnerable for infectious diseases such as mastitis. The real problem with subclinical ketosis ketosis is that the farmer does not realise that there is an undiagnosed condition and that the maximum dairy cow milk production potential is not achieved.

Do you know how frequent ketosis is in your herd? 

Thefrequency of ketosis can varyand depends largely on the management of the herd, but most studies show that in many herds a third or more of all transition cows may suffer ketosis. Subclinical ketosis is more common than clinical ketosis and affected cows show mild to no symptoms therefore making it harder to diagnose. 

Most farmersdon't routinely test for ketone bodies in their cows because of the additional workload involved. Often, farmers may be satisfied with the milk production in their herd and do not even think that there may be high levels of undetected ketosis in their herd. Thus, there is no importance given to regular monitoring.

All of these factors contribute to the underdiagnosis of ketosis in dairy cows, which can have a significantimpact on cow health, reproduction ratescow milk production and more. 

dairy cows

Artificial intelligence (AI) and the dairy industry – how does it all fit in? 

We seem to be seeing artificial intelligence showing up everywhere recently. From news to social media feeds, to social discussions, to articles being written around the topic and now with the latest ChatGPT going viral it seems to be mentioned every time we are online too! Some of us are worried that it poses a risk while others are excited to see where this new technology revolution will take us. 

Whether we like it or not, AI is part of our everyday lives and yes on our farms too! Some modern dairy producers understand that the latest technologies are here to stay and can help us be more competitiveIt is a matter of riding the wave or milking the cash cow as might be more appropriate to state here. The alternative might well mean taking a back seat, getting scared of the latest technologies and falling behind. An alternative that financially and sustainably does not make much sense. 

 How can dairy producers take advantage of AI An introduction to Predicta GUARDIAN  

There are manyways that AI can help farmers on a daily basis without major changes to their daily routine.  

Here at Dairy Data Warehouse one of our product offerings to farmers is Predicta GUARDIAN. We use Predictive modeling based on AI algorithms trained on large datasets to identify patterns and predict disease in individual cows. In this product offering we aid farmers predict the most common transition cow diseases namelyretained placenta, ketosis, displaced abomasum and milk fever 

By using the power of AI, the system provides dairy producers with real-time information on disease risk for the mentioned transition cow diseases, allowing them to target preventative interventions to the cows that are at the highest risk of developing transition cow diseases including subclinical ketosis. This can help improve cow health and cow milk production and reduce the risk of other metabolic diseases. Dairy farmers can have a competitive advantage and be more capable of predicting and preventing disease in their herdsEvery farmer’s dream, right? Provided in a simple to use manner. 

 You can read more about Predicta GUARDIAN here 

What actions can farmers take based on these predictions? 

Predicta GUARDIAN works by sending alerts to the farmers directly to their whatsapp or email, as frequently as they would like. GUARDIAN connects directly with the farm’s herd management software making it easy to use without requiring purchase of additional sensor equipment or software.  

The farmer is now getting alerts of at-risk cows. Great, the second question posed here would be. How can the farmer use this information to their advantage?  These new insights will impact the farm’s dairy management system and allow prevention of ketosis at an early stage, as early as the dry period. Changes might include adjusting the cow's diet to improve energy balance and/ or using prevention products during the dry period.  Regular monitoring and early detection by taking advantage of AI can help reduce the incidence of disease and subclinical disease thus improving the overall health and profitability of the herd.

What new and exciting offerings does the new autoconfiguration feature bring to the table?Allowing AI to estimate disease incidence for you! 

Configuring the right sensitivity level for Predicta GUARDIAN is a must for the model to work at its optimum and give you the best results for transition cow disease incidence for your herd. The sensitivity level was previously selected manually by the farmer or veterinarian. The sensitivity level chosen was based on the disease incidence in the herd. However, the disease incidence might be hard to know especially considering factors we discussed like subclinical ketosis. For this reason, we have further improved the model and added the autoconfiguration feature.  

Using historic herd data, Predicta GUARDIAN is able to calculate the estimated disease incidence for Ketosis and other transition cow diseases for each particular farm. It uses this information to regularly optimize the configuration settings of Predicta GUARDIAN. This is now the default setting ensuring that the optimal performance is given to you. If one wishes this feature can still be manually overwritten. 

Learn more about this new feature in this short video Predicta GUARDIAN update - Autoconfiguration. Working out the incidence of transition cow disease - YouTube 

In conclusion 

AI is a farmer’s friend. It helps substantially, removing human error and eliminating the use of assumptionIt can all be used and taken advantage of easily without the farmer needing to do much extra work. We are excited to continue leveraging AI to help farmers across the globe get the most out of this exciting and powerful technology.