Sustainable Dairy Farming: smart farming & sensor technology will be key

At the Agrinnovation Summit of Cremona International Livestock Exhibitions 2018 there will also be one of the major research centers worldwide especially dedicated to agro-livestock. The seminar Sustainable Dairy Farming: smart farming & sensor technology will be key will be held on October 26th, from 2.30 to 3.30 pm in CremonaFiere boardroom by Kees de Koning, Manager Dairy Campus – Wageningen UR. The seminar is in English and upon invitation only.


In the past 50 years milk production per cow has doubled, however on most farms differences between high and low yielding cows are still considerable. We know that milk production is strongly related with genetics and nutrition, but also by feeding management. Inconsistent mixing of feed, wrong feeding regimes, water quality, cow behaviour and environmental factors like heat can affect feed intake to a large extent. In the current large and quite intensive production environments, with fewer people doing the job, managing the daily activities is becoming a bigger and bigger challenge. On such farms the herdsman is managing the average cow, not the individual. In many cases individual milk production is recorded, but other characteristics like how much an individual cow is eating, how much she is moving, what is the body temperature, and so on is not known. So how to manage the individual cow in large herds? This is what is often called Smart Farming. A combination of using sensor technology connected machines and to the cow, measuring characteristics from milk samples both from individual cows as bulk milk, adding external information on fodder quality, in a smart way to combine all these aspects in daily farm management. Data created in this way can be transferred with smart solutions into real knowledge to be used to manage both the herd as the individual cows. In this Masterclass latest developments and challenges will be discussed in depth.

Kees de Koning is a senior scientist at Wageningen University & Research and holds since 2011 a position as managing director of Dairy Campus, the (inter)national research, innovation and education centre for the Dutch dairy chain, located in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. Dairy Campus is part of Wageningen University & Research, but moreover is also linked with organisations as the Applied university Van Hall Larenstein, vocational education Nordwin College, the national farmers organisation LTO Nederland, national dairy association NZO, FrieslandCampina, RUG Campus Fryslan, city of Leeuwarden and the province of Fryslan. Dairy Campus is part of the national Agrifood cluster and connected also with other Dutch clusters like Food Valley Wageningen, Water Campus Leeuwarden and the Sino Dutch Dairy Development Center in Beijing – China. Although Dairy Campus focuses on the entire dairy chain from grass to glass, most activities deal with the milk production side of the dairy chain. At Dairy Campus innovative projects and activities are carried out in order to generate new information and knowledge to drive innovation in the dairy chain. In this way Science and practice go hand in hand. Dairy Campus has five main programs: Research, Innovation, Education, Dissemination and Training. Kees de Koning has over 35 five years of experience in agricultural engineering, milking technology, robotic milking, milk quality, sustainable farm management, smart farming, sensor technology, quality assurance and food technology. He is also member of the Standing Committee on Farm Management from the International Dairy Federation (IDF), manager of the Dutch Test Centre of the International Committee of Animal Recording (ICAR) and chairman of the Steering Committee of the Sino Dutch Dairy Development Centre (SDDDC) in Beijing.