Herd Progress Begins with a Tag

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. That’s an often-used adage in livestock production — and you also can’t measure, what you don’t properly identify. Herd progress begins with a tag, and solid plan for record-keeping. Allflex North America President Glenn Fischer explains how today’s identification methods set the stage for continuous improvement on the farm…

Really, you can use ID as a proactive tool to move animals and create action items. Beyond that, now we start doing some genomic sampling, where we’re able to marry the identification visual and electronic, to a tissue sampling device, and that helps solidify that link between the sample that’s going off to the lab and all the work that the producer has spent optimizing their genetics, still comes down to that sample being properly identified to the right animal, and again, getting all that information and doing the right thing for the right animal.”

Advanced technology in animal health monitoring allows dairy farmers to provide customized care to each individual animal, Fischer says — improving cow comfort and overall productivity…

“Probably in the last three or four years, the next evolution of that has become monitoring. So, we’ve got products now that allow us to monitor rumination activity, we can create very accurate breeding windows for animals, we can start assessing welfare for health topics, we can identify disease well ahead of visual cues that would normally send a cow into a sick pen.

Innovation in the identification business results from engaging with groups like the Holstein Association USA about what dairy producers need, Fischer explains. A major topic of conversation recently is traceability standards within the U.S. livestock industry…

“It almost becomes something you take for granted, that Holstein’s already doing things that the industry is trying to get to, because Holstein’s been one of those leading entities that says we’re going to make sure that everything our producers are doing gives them the widest array of opportunities for marketing their animals. So, every one of the tags that we provide to Holstein members, all are fully ADT compliant.”