“When I came across the smaXtec system in 2020, I was fascinated by the concept of this bolus measuring core data. With so many parameters being measured like true rumination, inner body temperature, activity and water intake.” Tommy Heffernan says enthusiastically.
Tommy Heffernan sees reduced labour, the need to improve health, performance and reduce antibiotic usage as the big challenges in the future on farms. For him the smaXtec system ticked all the boxes on paper and the research he has done with smaXtec was really exciting around the value it could add on-farm.
In August 2020 Tommy Heffernan started a new project called Vision farming, focusing on improving health and performance on two dairy farms within five years. “We looked at the different health monitoring systems in the marketplace and installed smaXtec on both farms in October 2020.” he adds.
Straight away they started seeing the core data and monitoring system delivering unrivalled insights. Within the first three weeks, they were able to detect two cows with mastitis 48 hours in advance of clinical symptoms. The health monitoring with smaXtec continues give them eyes inside the cows. “We now have protocols to intervene with anti-inflammatories early and dramatically reduce our antibiotic usage and improve treatment outcomes.” Tommy Heffernan states.
What more the smaXtec system has done to improve health on both farms? “We also identified a water quality issue on one farm through the water intake alerts. We had plenty of water but the quality was an issue. It was infected with heavy bacteria.” he recalls. [Watch the video here.]
“We have also seen 100% accuracy in heat detection at breeding time in autumn.” he says about heat detection with smaXtec. Tommy Heffernan is also sure about the fact that the calving alerts will also prove invaluable in managing their close-up cows as having all staff off-site.
For Tommy Heffernan it is clear that technology will play a key role in farming in the future. “We feel we are one step ahead of the curve with the core data which this unique system provides.” he adds.