The Dairy-Farm Management Monitor (Dairy-FMM) of ELDC BV

ELDC BV (the European Livestock Diagnostic Center) has developed an integral concept for preventive diagnostics for Livestock Holdings. The basis of the concept is simple: For a farm (any farm!) to produce in the most cost effective and output-optimal way each of 5 basic farming blocks must be optimized.

If one or more of the 5 Basic blocks are sub-optimal the Farm output is lowered.

ELDC provides a set of tools that aid in assessing the state of each of the blocks and supports its optimization.

Blocks 1, 2 and 3 need the input of a Bulk Milk Sample, which reflects an entire herd or a cohort of animals that are kept together. This Bulk Milk Sample, taken after a set number of milking rounds is an indicator for the group of animals (cattle or goat) that contribute to the bulk tank.

Each of the Bulk Milk Samples are collected monthly and shipped to the lab along with a sample (or samples) from the drinking water (Block 5, once every 6 months) of the sampled group of animals.

Block 4, Pregnancy Management, is always subject to individual animals.

Block 1: Disease state

Cattle Dairy

For each of the following diseases a bulk milk protocol is available that essentially predicts the relative percentage of infected animals contributing to the bulk tank, as well as PCR-protocols to assess current presence of virus or bacteria, or the presence of carrier animals for:

*BVDV
*Salmonella
*IBR
*Neospora
*Fasciola
*Blue Tongue
*M.Bovis
*ParaTB
*Leptospira
*Schmallenberg
*Mastitis/MAA
*Dependent on the region also FMD, TB, Brucella, Leukosis, etc. can be added

For each of the diseases a full eradication protocol is available that effectively clears the herds from disease and prevents re-entrance.

Goat Dairy

For each of the following diseases a bulk milk protocol is available that essentially predicts the relative percentage of infected animals contributing to the bulk tank, as well as PCR-protocols to assess current presence of virus or bacteria, or the presence of carrier animals for:

*ParaTB
*SRLV
*CL
*Neospora
*Blue Tongue
*Listeria M.
*Q Fever
*Fasciola
*Salmonella
*Mastitis/MAA
*Dependent on the region also FMD, TB, Salmonella and Brucella can be added

For each of the diseases a full eradication protocol is available that effectively clears the herds from disease and prevents re-entrance.

Block 2: Do I feed well?

From the bulk milk an average value of present essential minerals can be measured. Protocols have been developed that adequately asses the levels of Se4+, Mg2+, (Cu2+), Zn2+, PO43-/P, Ca2+ and/or I in either of the matrices. The levels relative to normal ranges for each of the species predict the state of this Block 2.

For each of the minerals that are below the acceptable range, ELDC BV provides a mineral-mix that can be added to the feed or drinking water of the herd to quickly return to normal-range values.

Block 3: Is my silage stored well?

This Block 3 measures the quality of the stored silage as it is accepted in the animals. The presence of Aflatoxin in milk is a direct measure of the poor quality of the silage or feed-additives.

Block 4: Pregnancy Management

The application of protocols to measure pregnancy in the individual milk of cows and goat, or to measure open animals allows these females to minimize the between-calf/lamb times.

Block 5: Quality of the drinking water

Procedures are available that asses the Chemical and Bacteriological state, as well as the level of Trace Elements in the drinking water of the animals.

The Farm Management Monitor

The Farm Management Monitor is based on the monthly supply of a bulk milk sample along with a drinking water sample (once every 6 months). A software algorithm depicts which of the Blocks and within Block 1, which of the diseases must be tested. All data are connected to the output figures of the farm, and/or to the individual animals (Block 4). The Farm Management Monitor provides a simple at a glance dashboard for the farmer showing him at any moment what the status is of each of the Blocks in the Monitor:

The farmer, as well as his co-op, veterinarian, feed company and insemination service, can get access to the internet-environment/app where the farm’s data are being stored. Underlying at the simple meter-dashboard is a set of graphs for each of the diseases, nutrient-concentrations, etc. that show the progress of disease etc.

Dependent on the progress of a disease or the decrease of a level of one of the minerals, the FMM-software decides to shorten the measuring frequency or send a direct alert to the veterinarian or the feed company.

The following examples show the power of the Dairy-FMM:

Figure 1 Farm C applied a ParaTB Control Program to lower the % of animals infected with ParaTB. The Dairy-FMM clearly shows the success of the Control Program.
Figure 2 In order to achieve a quick growth Farm D purchased milking goats without testing the ParaTB status of the purchased animals. The Dairy-FMM indicates an increased pressure of MAP on Farm D.
Figure 3 Levels of the minerals Zn(II) and Se(IV), and the BVD-Ab-level during a BVD-outbreak, regular dips of the minerals indicate feed-change (new sileage), the dip at the vast increase of Ab to BVD during the outbreak depict lower levels of resistance as a consequence of the outbreak

Benefits of the Farm Management Monitor

  • Full control and insights in the five basic groups that constitute good farming
  • Always ahead of disease, the system provides an early warning for the advent of disease. The veterinarian can act before disease leads to massive production losses.
  • The accent now is on prevention, not on reaction
  • Tools to improve each of the blocks, thus leading to improved farm-output