February 15, 2016
Afimilk acquires Silent Herdsman
Afimilk, Ltd., a global provider of dairy farm management solutions, has acquired Silent Herdsman, a private VC-funded company from Glasgow, UK and developer of a neck-collar monitoring system used to detect estrus and health problems in dairy cattle.
"Silent Herdsman complements Afimilk's popular AfiAct II product line with unique functionality and powerful features based on new technology," said Afimilk CEO Yuval Rachmilevitz, whose company makes the leg-mounted cow monitoring system AfiAct II.
Estrus detection is important in the dairy industry, as cows must be bred regularly in order to keep producing milk. Each additional day a cow remains 'open' can cost a dairy producer up to US$7 in profitability. Detecting health problems early is also important, as prompt treatment can significantly reduce costs associated with lost production, involuntary culling or cow death.
Silent Herdsman is the developer of a neck-mounted cow monitoring system that detects estrus and health problems based on cow activity, rumination and eating patterns. Data is transmitted wirelessly from the collar via a base station to a central computer on the farm that issues alerts for changes indicating estrus or illness. Alerts are also sent via the cloud to smart phones and tablets. Producers are then able to spend less time directly observing the herd and more time breeding and treating cows automatically identified by the system. Silent Herdsman is currently installed in hundreds of dairy farms throughout Europe.
AfiAct II is a leg-mounted cow monitoring system that detects estrus and various disorders based on activity and resting behavior. Like Silent Herdsman, it issues alerts in real time to a local computer as well as smart phones and tablets. According to Rachmilevitz, most AfiAct II customers in the US report pregnancy rates exceeding 25%.
Rachmilevitz added that both systems are very accurate and highly scalable, with long-range radio and long-life battery.