Integrated data collection in herd management – Q and A

Are you interested in integrated data collection in herd management? Please take a look at our answers to some questions about this topic. The questions and answers are linked to our webinar Integrated data collection in herd management – success case Finland March 2nd, 2022.

Q: What novelties or distinguishing features are there in this software if we compare it to similar software already used in Germany, France or Poland?

A: Well, we did not actually present software, we presented a whole network of data systems. The distinguishing feature of the Finnish data systems when compared to many other countries is that it is very comprehensive.

Q: Is your focus to make your own software solution available to all farms worldwide (via IDDEN)?

A: Outside Finland, Mtech deals with other businesses, not with farmers directly. Our MyFarm solution is used and partly owned by Växa in Sweden. Every country has different data demands so the software solutions would need to be adapted locally anyway.

Q: How do you look at consent management for the farmers related to all external data users?

A: Our point of departure is that all data belongs to the farmer. No data is shared anywhere without the farmer’s consent.

Q: I have concerns about the working hours invested in the Mtech system to make it run well. Has the advantage been great enough to cover the input?

A: If we had not built integrations, we would certainly have a much lower share of dairy farmers in the milk recording system. I would thus say it has not only covered the input but provided local organisations with continued existence.

Q: How would you address communications with all the outside parties (incoming/outgoing) on very large herds (10,000+) cows where you have 100,000+ daily transactions?

A: Since we make these integrations automatic, I don’t think herd size really matters any longer. Connection speed hardly becomes an issue.

Q: Are the interfaces you have set up with the parlour and sensor companies using the ICAR ADE standards or still based on Taurus standards?

A: The new iDDEN interface uses the ICAR ADE standards. Older solutions do not, simply because they are older than the standard.

Q: What are Mtech’s functions and views on non-invasive, multisensory data capture and alerts for cattle welfare? And your functions and views on beef production autonomous data capture and decision support systems in beef and milk production, respectively?

A: We already have integrations to some automatic sensors and are happy to discuss additional ones. We think that if there is an automatic data source available it should be connected to a larger information sharing community to give additional advantage to the farmer.

Q: Is it possible to transfer data from mating software to the Mtech software? Is there a way to gain additional information on, e.g., inbreeding or the probability of certain genetic traits such as CVM defect or beta-casein genotype etc.?

A: Mtech software in Finland has a connection to the mating software used by one of our owners – Faba cooperative. It indeed calculates inbreeding and shows specific genes where available.

Q: Are cases of calf malformation collected and how are they handled to find out whether the defect is genetic or not?

A: Yes. When registering births, the farmers are also asked to record the severity and location of the defect. These data are then used in combination to see if, e.g., a certain bull carries a risk.

Q: Does the data collection and management include each veterinary treatment as well as checking whether the animal recovered after the treatment?

A: In the Finnish data system, treatments are recorded but the outcome is not.