New technologies and innovations add value
to the necessary revolution in agriculture.
The Netherlands is ahead in these modern developments in innovations and has an important role worldwide. Bles Dairies
actively involves in these developments:
Bles Dairies is ready for the Future.
Ida by Connecterra
Effective solutions and technology in the dairy sector are always at the forefront of Bles Dairies. It is therefore with much pride that we are in a partnership with Connecterra, an AgriTech company that has developed an Artificial Intelligence named Ida. Ida is a farmers’ assistant that can run a dairy farm 30% more efficiently than a human farmer. Ida learns the behaviour of farmers and dairy cows while providing guidance on how to run a better farm.
More efficient dairy cows will reduce the impact of livestock farming on the climate while maintaining the livelihood of the 117M dairy farmers who depend on dairy as their protein source and livelihood.
Ida uses individual cow sensors to collect raw data of individual cows, as well as a whole herd. Ida’s added value becomes clear when one looks further than the mere heat, health and feed detection. At present, there are many other cow-monitoring systems available for farmers, what makes Ida different is that it sends information directly to the cloud for analysis. With the use of the knowledge platform in “the cloud”, the system increases its accuracy and is self-learning. Ida can learn from new data in many different forms: information from a farmer’s cows, other cows worldwide, the farmer himself.
At Bles Dairies Farm in the Netherlands and at Bles Dairies East Africa in Kenya, Ida has been operating since 2018 and has already proven its quality. By detecting health related problems and heat in an early stadium, the system leads to a more efficient way of farming. No matter how much knowledge the system provides, the farmer will remain the one making the decisions based on his management visions. With Ida, Bles Dairies is heading towards an insurmountable innovative future within the dairy sector.
To learn more about our Ida at Bles Dairies Farm, watch Ida’s success story here
Partnership with Wageningen University and Research
Bles Dairies and Wageningen University & Research (WUR), both important players in the international dairy sector, regularly cooperate in projects where both knowledge at academic level and practical skills are required. They have already been co-operating on several FDOV (Facility for Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Food Security) projects in Asia and Africa. These projects are public-private partnerships with the objective to improve the food security situation and to strengthen the private sector in developing countries.
In Ethiopia, they have started in 2015 DairyBISS: an EKN-funded project to stimulate the private dairy sector development. Over a period of 3 years, a dairy business platform is established, during which Bles Dairies Consultancy is responsible for the practical trainings to local instructors and trainers. This happens on different topics, such as housing, forage production and cattle hoof trimming. (Due to political turbulence in the country, this project has been put on hold for the time being.)
Bles Dairies and WUR also co-operate with an international milk processor in the Dairy4Growth project, another Public Private Partnership taking place for 5 – 7 years in Vietnam, Indonesia and Nigeria. By improving the farmers’ skills and knowledge and by ameliorating their socio-economic livelihood, they aim to produce sustainable dairy products that meet the quality standards. Bles Dairies Consultancy not only coordinates and provides the training of regional governments and local instructors, bus also transfers knowledge through dairy Master Farms. These Master Farms are frontrunners and function as an example to the local farmers in the area, so that they can learn from their neighbours on a structural basis.
Blended Learning by Bles Dairies Institute
Currently, Bles Dairies, WUR and Aeres Hogeschool Dronten are working on a joint international dairy knowledge institute that will use the international research and innovation centre “Dairy Campus” in Leeuwarden (the Netherlands) as its home base. In many international dairy advisory projects, practical training and transfer of knowledge to professionals are key elements and with this centre, the three parties respond to the enormous need for practical and innovative trainings worldwide.
Bles Dairies Institute, in cooperation with its partners, is developing a knowledge platform with the goal to professionalise the transfer of dairy related knowledge. The spearhead within this knowledge platform is Blended Learning. This method of learning – which combines classroom and online education – represents a fundamental change in the way teachers and students approach the learning experience. This means that students themselves are expected to take initiative. Since this method of learning does not depend on time nor place, students are no longer obliged to follow courses in a classroom at set times. When the student has a genuine interest in a particular subject, he/she can find the related course material online, which is available in all sorts of different forms, e.g. game-type exercises, cases and simulations. Through Blended Learning, students will better remember the learning material than they would through conventional learning methods.
With the development of the dairy knowledge institute, the partnership between Bles Dairies, WUR and Aeres Hogeschool Dronten intensifies. The institute, situated in the Netherlands, will contribute to the development and provision of worldwide training and consultancy activities.
Elevate by Semex
Bles Dairies is Semex’s exclusive dealer for high quality semen in Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Russia. Its activities not only include the provision of bull semen (including sexed semen), the improvement of cow fertility and support on reproduction related matters, but Semex also focusses on research and development, and so its R&D has recently developed a female genomic testing program: Elevate.
With Elevate, different from any other genomic test, the farmer will also receive Immune genomics for every tested female. Tested females will be classified as having High, Average or Low Immune genomic status. Those animals classified as High will receive the official Semex Immunity Female designation. Elevate identifies the best females through an easy genomic testing program that works with the Semex Solutions app to deliver results.
With Elevate and the Immunity+ genomic test, there’s no more guess work as to which cows will better resist disease. Armed with both genomic information and Immunity+ results, producers are able to make faster genetic progress towards a stronger, more disease resistant herd, reducing losses and drug use. Immunity+ heritability is 30%, similar to that of milk production. Semex is excited to be the only AI company to deliver uncompromised herd health gains that can be made by identifying both female immune response and utilizing Immunity+ sires.
Click here to learn more about Elevate.