Herd improvement and agri-tech co-operative LIC has formed a distribution partnership with Israeli-based Afimilk to market its hi-tech cow collars in New Zealand, supporting a global trend towards 'connected cows'.
The AfiCollar, worn around the neck, collects data on animal health, wellbeing and fertility.
AfiCollar is a robust and effective cow neck collar, with advanced, yet easy-to-use, technology developed by Afimilk to assist dairy farmers in monitoring cow rumination, eating, and motion, in order to enhance and improve the health, fertility and nutrition of their animals.
Afimilk is one of the dairy industry's leading producers of cow behaviour sensors, farm management software and milk meters, and supplies cow collars internationally.
Afimilk and LIC were in discussions earlier this year regarding a potential investment by LIC in Afimilk which didn't proceed.
LIC chief executive Wayne McNee says as sector leaders, the parties remained in contact and recently reached a new agreement regarding Afimilk's cow collar technology.
"We are working to build an integrated, collaborative technology ecosystem that makes it as easy as possible for farmers to adopt new technologies," says Wayne.
"Farmers need to be able to choose the technology and products that are best suited to them.
"Our role is to ensure that proven technology can integrate with LIC's existing systems and herd management software into the future.
"The AfiCollars are among the best in the world and, we believe, well suited to meet the unique challenges of New Zealand's pastoral dairy environment.
"Our proven work in genomics, reproduction and animal health is enabling farmers to be more efficient and their herds to be more productive each year.
"Cow behavioural monitoring devices like the AfiCollar will deliver complementary on farm benefits such as more accurate heat detection and animal health and welfare monitoring," says Wayne.
AfiCollars will integrate with Protrack, LIC's farm automation technology, which will allow for increased efficiency and faster, more informed decision-making on farm.
"There is already strong demand for cow wearable technology by our farmers, and for it to integrate with LIC's farm automation systems," says Wayne.
"The 'connected cow', wearing this technology, will shape the future of the dairy industry and help New Zealand maintain its world leading edge in precision farming."
He says LIC is looking to work with other leading New Zealand and international technology providers to continue to offer the very best options for our farmers wanting to utilise new technologies coming to market.
Afimilk CEO Yuval Rachmilevitz says he is excited to be cementing a new agreement with LIC for the distribution of AfiCollars.
"We share a combined commitment to enabling farmers to continually improve on-farm productivity through new technology and it is exciting to be further enabling this in New Zealand."
For more information visit lic.co.nz/products-and-services/automation/aficollar/