Data-driven decision making for calf management process

Calf2Cow system helps farmers make informed, data-driven decisions in calf selection management and increase profitability of their farms.
Featured Case Study Calf 2 Cow

About the project

Calf2Cow

Calf2Cow is a project that provides recommendations for breeding calves based on monitoring growth of individual animals. It provides farmers with an objective all-in-one system able to predict the potential of individual calves as well as the overall business potential of the farm.

The project Calf2Cow 7D18003 has received funding from the Eurostars-2 joint program with co-funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.

Challenge

How to streamline calf management process

Monitoring systems for cows as such are not new to the industry. Many farmers use paper logs and naked eye or rely on a weighing scale built into the feeding station to estimate the growth of a heifer.

The project Calf2Cow aims to outsource the decision-making burden from farmers to a smart advisory system. To predict the potential of individual calves, the system considers more indicators than just weight. It provides objective data-driven insights so that farms won’t have to heavily depend on individual expertise of their farmers.

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Solution

Calf2Cow for data-driven decision making

The project Calf2Cow provides farmers with an advisory all-in-one solution for calf selection management. It considers a number of objective indicators to help farmers make informed decisions about the individual animals.

It gives them advice on calf breeding as it reliably predicts future potential of an animal as well as optimal insemination time.

Farmers get a comprehensive overview of the herd health status and get alerts regarding potential deviations much earlier than when relying on a naked eye.

Workflow overview

A 3D camera and other sensors monitor calves at farms. We collect and store the sensory data and build models that learn from the data. The farmers get an overview and advice based on the data through a user interface.

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Data collection

A 3D camera and other sensors monitor calves at farms. We collect and store the sensory data.
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Data collection

A 3D camera and other sensors monitor calves at farms. We collect and store the sensory data.
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Data collection

A 3D camera and other sensors monitor calves at farms. We collect and store the sensory data.

The Calf2Cow project is a joint initiative of 3 partners: Triodor, Datamole and Lely. Triodor delivers user interface, Datamole the IoT platform and predictive calf models, and Lely provides a 3D camera and other hardware.

Datamole predictive models

We’ve developed a predictive model which determines the future potential of a calf. The prediction model is based on a combination of different models, including weight growth and height growth prediction, animal scoring and heifer insemination advice.

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Image

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Depth
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Animal height
& weight

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Animal
comparison

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Benefits

Calf selection process made easy

Calf2Cow provides farmers with a digital all-in-one system that helps them better manage the growth of their calves. It creates synergy between farmers’ experience, effective data processing and an accurate prediction model making it easier to take informed decisions.

Calf2Cow helps farmers:

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    Have a comprehensive overview of the heard health status
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    Get advice on how to achieve optimal calf growth
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    Reduce the risk of falsely selecting a calf for culling
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    Shorten the calf selection process

Feedback

What did the client say

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"The effort of the farmer is significantly reduced as we strive for zero milking settings. The milking robot derives and selects the optimal settings fully automatically for each cow to achieve gentle milking. The farmer works with high quality and practical KPI’s to manage the herd and farm."

Rik Steenbergen

Senior product engineer at Lely

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