If you want to know what will be the future in agriculture and Agro Technology, Agritech Tel Aviv is the place to be. The exhibition took place this year in April and was rich with technologies and products for the dairy sector. Even if the country has only 834 dairy farms, it is well-known all over the world for its high productivity (12000 kg of milk/cow/year) and for its cutting-edge technologies. Dairy farmers work in harsh conditions of a hot and dry climate. If they want to succeed, they need to be very good at everything.
The trend today in dairy farming is clearly to improve management using connected tools. Thanks to sophisticated software, it became possible to get and analyze a lot of information about each cow: how she moves, how much food she eats, how much milk she produces… The aim is to optimize the production and so the profitability of the farm.
Afimilk is a company that was founded in a kibbutz. It is a well-known company in France. They have created a laboratory (Afilab) in the milking parlor. It analyses the milk composition. This allows farmers to know if the cows are well fed and if they are healthy.
Early detection of sanitary problems is a major topic in Israel and in Europe. The main objective is to reduce the use of antibiotics, to produce more milk, and to reduce costs.
Afilab sends the milk to different tanks, according to its components. For example, if it is rich in protein, it is good to make cheese.
SCR is also working on monitoring equipment to detect sanitary problems at an early stage. They measure rumination and the software analyses the information.
Genetics is another way to improve cows’ productivity. The company XMatch has invented an application to help farmers to choose the right bull for each cow. To prevent inbreeding, they look at the pedigrees dating back six generations! This company will be present at the Space exhibition in Rennes (France) in September.
To maintain its leading position worldwide, Israel invests in start- ups. The start-up (Mi-robot), has developed a robot that can be used in a milking parlor. In Israel, as in a lot of other countries, it is becoming difficult to find employees to milk the cows. This robot could be the best solution for all of them. The system will be put to test in a farm next year.
REPORT: “A NEW WAY TO MANAGE THE FARM”
Patrice Guignan is a French dairy farmer. He has 135 cows. He tested the Afiact system in his farm for a year. The software has been modified by Afimilk because the cows graze during several months. Afilab will be installed in the farm, too, during the summer. Patrice was looking for a monitoring system to save time and to secure his production. He is very happy with Afiact from all aspects.
The trial was conducted through BCEL Ouest, a company that provides management advice to dairy farmers. They are starting to sell the Afimilk system in France.
Since its early days, the Dairy Industry in Israel has been an important aspect in the development of the agricultural sector in the country. Dairy farming has been transformed into an industrialized system, creating optimal integration between the production unit (the cow), technologies and equipment (engineering), the operator (the farmer) and the production environment (the dairy farm). Producing more milk with less dairy cows improves the economic performance of the farm unit and also drastically reduces the ecological imbalance in the country. Israel is not bound by agricultural traditions, and Israeli farmers integrate many new ideas into their farming systems. Integration of co-operative ideas has provided even the small farmer in Israel with technological access to modern and to up-to-date know-how, through extension services. For many years much attention has been given to minimizing the “heat stress” on the dairy cow. Even in Israel’s extreme climate (temp. & relative humidity), the Israeli Holstein Friesien Cows are among the world’s best performing dairy cows.
*The original article was written by Pascale Le Cann in L’éleveur Laitier no. 237- July 2015. For the full article, click here