Herd Navigation according to Jørgen Clemmensen, Idasminde I/S, Denmark
Blog post by Tove Asmussen 19-May 2011 - continuation from "How does the future look for the raw milk testing laboratories"
Jørgen Clemmensen Owns a dairy farm together with Henrik Nielsen in Northwest Denmark.
They have 200 Holstein Frisian cows and operates 250 hectares of land (600 acres) with grass (some permanent), corn and some grain. The cows are fed Total Mixed Ratio (TMR) with corn and grass silage, and all concentrates. On top of this they are grazing during summertime.
The cows are milked 2 a day in a 2 x 12 Delaval milking parlor.
Jørgen and Henrik are not particularly interested in breeding. However Jørgen does all insemination, and this together with Herd Navigator keeps his costs for breeding and the vet 70 Euro below DK average.
Jørgen describes himself as a control freak. He wants to be in control of all details. Here Herd Navigator has offered a lot of convenience and saved him much time. It is very convenient to be able to watch for cows in heat 24 hours a day from a chair in door!
On the other hand Jørgen does not describe himself as
an early starter. Without the offer to become a test farmer he cannot see himself
as owner of Herd Navigator today. But if he should stop using Herd Navigator it
would certainly demand investments in other solutions. He mentions the Heat
timer, sold via the Danish Breeding organizations as a possibility but adds
that Herd Navigator offers more information, - and there must still be more to
gain in the future if all available information is used for preventive measures.
During the test period, 3.5 years, the herd has grown from 160 cows to 200 cows and the yield from 9000 kg to 10000 kg without buying animals from outside. Major reasons for the increase in yield is a better optimization of the ration resulting in less ketosis and a more uniform body condition score throughout the herd. Though reproduction in general was good it has improved for the cows affected by ketosis
Major achievements with Herd Navigator:
Herd Navigator pushed me into the PC-age and helped me from observing all cows intensely to monitoring lists on my PC where I had the important cows pointed out!
Today we hardly do any manual checks on cows on reproduction issues. Pregnancy, cysts, abortions… all can be seen on my PC.
I had a feeling before Herd Navigator that we lost yield due to subclinical ketosis. We quickly saw that we did, - and today we have to a large extend got this problem under control.
Jørgen Clemmensens main objective as dairy farmer:
To be economically independent, to be able to choose between different opportunities! This was part of the reason that Henrik entered as partner on Idasminde 2 years ago.
Read more about Herd navigation according to Rinse Wassenaar, Menaldum, the Netherlands or read the entire article on Herd Navigation here