At Grotegut Dairy Farm, which is already in the hands of the third generation, good herd management has always been the key to their success. The farm was originally started by Eric Grotegut’s grandpa in the 1960s and has since become a successful and continuously growing dairy farm.
Found a helping hand in smaXtec
With over 3,300 cows to care for and 3,000 acres of land, Grotegut Dairy faced the challenge of monitoring their animals effectively. Even though they had people constantly walking through the maternity pen, they knew that there had to be a better and more precise way to monitor their herd. When they first heard about smaXtec at the World Dairy Expo they were sure they had found the right tool for the job.
“The smaXtec system is more than a heat detection system. We use it as heat detection, but more so as finding sick cows and identifying them early”, Eric states. The innovative boluses used by the system provided insights into the cows' internal health, enabling early identification of various diseases, such as pneumonia, mastitis, and metritis. This newfound ability to detect illness sooner allowed the team to provide timely treatment, resulting in healthier cows and improved overall herd management. General manager Rosario Ibarra says: “We are very pleased with the results because it allows us to keep a close eye on our animals. We are improving the timing of response to the challenges that the animals are facing. Instead of spending a lot of time in the pens looking for a cow.”
The results speak for themselves
The benefits of the smaXtec system extended beyond health monitoring. With the system's alerts – conveniently accessible on their phones – Eric and Rosario could stay updated even before they arrived at work. This real-time information empowered them to allocate their resources more efficiently: “It's allowing us to redirect our people to the areas that need more attention, and I think that's a big payoff for us. We are more efficient” Rosario states. The optimized use of their workforce translated into increased productivity and cost savings. “We are more efficient. Now we're trying to only focus on cows that are triggered by the system instead of walking through the barns and distracting cows when they’re supposed to be eating”, says Eric.
The impact of smaXtec on Grotegut Dairy's breeding practices was remarkable. Previously, they relied heavily on shots during the breeding process, but with the system's accurate heat detection capabilities, that changed: “We were breeding 75% of shots before, but now we have been trying to breed all of them without shots. We reduced our shot usage by 75% and our hormone usage has decreased by 70%.”
Easy installation and a highly satisfied user
The ease of use and reliability of the smaXtec system impressed the team at Grotegut Dairy. The installation process was seamless, and the initial training provided by smaXtec ensured a smooth transition to the new system. Eric is convinced: “I would recommend smaXtec to the other farmers because of how easy it is to use. There's not much maintenance. You don't have collars falling off or anything like that. smaXtec just gives you one step ahead.”