Located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Central Manor Dairy LLC stands as a testament to the power of innovative herd management. With 200 cows under his care, Steve Harnish, partner, has witnessed remarkable transformations in his farm's efficiency and cow health since integrating smaXtec into his operation.
SUPPORTIVE THERAPIES BEFORE PRODUCTION DROPS
Since adopting the smaXtec system, the Central Manor team has transitioned toward proactive management. Through real-time monitoring of vital parameters, such as rumination and body temperature, Steve and his team receive alerts for potential issues within the herd.
When it comes to inflammatory diseases like mastitis, Steve says that while “incidence of new mastitis cases is similar [compared to before using smaXtec], outcomes are greatly improved with early detection. Herd somatic cell count has decreased to our cooperative’s highest quality premium most months.” Early detection means early intervention which allows Steve to avoid drops in production and achieve a higher quality of milk.
These benefits go beyond inflammatory diseases, in fact, when asked what he would say if a colleague inquired why he uses the system, Steve stated he uses it to help in the “identification of metabolic issues 24/7 whether I’m working in the barn or away from the farm.”
Monitoring every cow through her transition phase has been a game changer at Central Manor. “We can individually monitor every cow through her transition phase,” Steve commented. “From a calving alert to real-time monitors of rumination, and body temperature I have an alert about a possible metabolic disorder before there are any other clinical signs.” With smaXtec, Steve can lower the impact of these diseases through early intervention.
We can individually monitor every cow through her transition phase.
The smaXtec system has also impacted reproduction. Central Manor uses a timed-AI program, however, Steve mentioned that accurate (and timely) heat detection allows his team to breed back open cows without having to wait for an exam and resynch. “We started with a pregnancy rate that met our goals. Adding the smaXtec heat detection capabilities lowered our days open and repro cull rate even lower.”
On the flip side, Steve and team are able to reduce the stress cow’s experience around calving and ensure the calf is born in a safe environment with smaXtec’s early calving detection. “We’re able to easily isolate cows in an individual calving pen before seeing visible signs of labor,” Steve remarked.
SMAXTEC AND DAILY ACTIVITIES
The system's comprehensive capabilities have simplified the process of identifying sick cows which has impacted daily workflow on the farm. “I start each milking shift by checking for notifications for any cow that should be sorted for an exam or checked for mastitis. I cross-reference the smaXtec data if the milk-alarm report from the milking parlor shows a cow decreasing in production.” Instead of having to wait for physical symptoms to appear, Steve is able to identify suspicious cows earlier and examine them thanks to early notifications.
smaXtec has the features I want and continues to be updated with more capability.
Reflecting on his decision to integrate smaXtec into his operation, Steve emphasizes that while each person should find what works best for them, for him the smaXtec system has aligned with his strategy. “Each person should evaluate what's best for their workflow, but my experience has been that smaXtec has the features I want and continues to be updated with more capability.”
By prioritizing cow health, Steve and his team have seen significant changes. Their commitment to proactive management highlights why Central Manor Dairy is a shining example of innovative dairy farming.