Increased yield per cow and less time spent on individual supervision represents new challenges related to feeding, animal health, breeding, hygienic quality of milk and technology adaption in Norwegian herds with automated milking systems (AMS).
We aim to expand on a long tradition of herd recording (NDHRS) for breeding and research purposes in Norway by combining information from NDHRS with data from AMS and sensors to improve genetic evaluations of Norwegian Red, enhance herd management, develop better feeding strategies and systems for surveillance of energy balance (EB), health and reproduction. Successful technology adaption among farmers is important for future dairy farming in Norway, and we will establish research based approaches to improve the use of surveillance systems. Finally, we will address the increasing problems related to hygienic quality of raw milk in AMS.
We will improve feeding strategies in AMS by better predictions of feed intake and EB. New approaches for early detection of subclinical ketosis and impaired reproduction will also contribute with information for adjustment of individual feeding before health, production and welfare becomes compromised. New mathematical approaches will be developed in order to predict EB and health status in individual cows based on milk components, sensors, AMS- and NDHRS-data. The cows meet new challenges in AMS and the breeding program need to be adjusted accordingly. Based on data routinely recorded in AMS, we will work on new traits and improved genomic evaluation to breed cows that fit better in AMS. The current project will determine factors related to contamination of silage with spore forming bacteria. In case of funding for a commercial sector PhD, also barn and AMS factors will be investigated. Finally, the proposed project aim to address challenges related to farmers health, environment and safety, labor division, economy and general management as AMS becomes the dominant milking system in Norway.