FeedSense is a customizable tool that visualizes feed inventories, trends, and other analytics to help nutritionists and their client farms make data-driven decisions. Here are 5 ways the FeedSense Dashboard is used to help improve farm profitability:
Maintain Ration Consistency
The FeedSense Dashboard provides accurate inventories for each bunk and forecasts when they will be empty. High producing cows demand consistent rations to reach their peak and maintain production throughout their lactation. Accurate and up to date forage intel can help to minimize the possible impact of a forage change by allowing nutritionists to gradually ease groups into forage changes. Lead time created by forecasts can also give nutritionists the capability of making necessary ration changes (such as moving from one haylage cutting to another) during opportune times (when other environmental or management stresses on the animals are limited). The insight provided by the FeedSense Dashboard helps nutritionists maintain consistency in their rations which subsequently leads to a greater opportunity to maximize milk potential within the herd.
Shrink is a silent expense, costing dairies tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. There is huge potential to improve farm profitability by reducing this wasted feed. The first step to improve something is realizing the scale and magnitude of the issue. The FeedSense Dashboard tracks how much shrink is occurring in each bunk and compares it month to month. Used as a management tool, this data can help justify additional equipment or labor costs that would lead to reduced shrink. Consistently tracking shrink and comparing the values throughout the year can lead to further conclusions on why it may be higher certain times of the year. Ultimately, using this data to make packing, feeding, or other management changes can lead to reduced feed costs and increased farm profitability.
Maximize Home-Grown Forage Utilization
For a dairy operation that does their own crops, it’s generally more cost effective for them to meet their cows’ macronutrient requirements via home-grown forages versus purchased feeds when possible. When nutritionists know exactly what’s in each bunk, they can appropriately ration each forage to last until the next cutting or next year’s harvest can be fed. If a farm starts to run out of a forage too early, they will need to purchase macronutrients or replacement forages. Each of these will impact farm profitability. The FeedSense dashboard allows nutritionists to balance maximizing the amount of home-grown forage being fed, while ensuring that it will last until next year’s forage is harvested and has the preferred amount of time to ferment before feed out.
Improve Bunk Management/Forage Quality
With our drone-based imaging, we can create a three-dimensional model of each bunk or pile. These models can be reviewed to help improve bunk management and forage quality moving forward. Analyzing the geometries of piles can highlight how bunks were actually packed. This insight can highlight non-uniformly packed bunks and/or non-ideal packing densities. Improving these can lead to an increased capacity for more feed in existing bunks. The trends that are tracked on the FeedSense Dashboard can also help to identify the impact of different weather scenarios and changes in bunk management.
Reduce or Refocus Labor
Behind feed, labor is one of the next largest expenses for a dairy. Aurox utilizes hands-off, automated technology to collect data. Taking over the responsibility of obtaining and maintaining forage inventories frees up valuable time for the feeder, feed manager, or farm owner. This can lead to reduced labor costs or can allow them to refocus that time towards other valuable management activities.