Collars for cows: How technology is changing Magic Valley farming | Southern Idaho Agriculture News

TWIN FALLS – Darren Taber stares at the HerdMonitor dashboard on his computer, pointing out a sick cow.

The sooner he can spot the problem, the easier it is to treat.

“This is what your normal activity level looks like, and then you see, boom, we have no activity,” says Taber. “This is your normal brooding time, boom, no brooding.”

With a herd of 800 cows, it can be difficult to find the sick. This is where technology comes in.

Taber, who runs Donley Farms in Shoshone, recently installed GENEX’s HerdMonitor collar system. All of his cows wear a collar that records their activity, chewing time and eating time.

“We find that we can treat these cows faster. Even if we find mastitis out there, one day makes a difference, ”he said.

The collars are just a small part of the technology that helps keep his dairy operational. In addition to a collar, each cow has an RFID chip that helps track milk production. When the cows enter the milking parlor, the system scans the chip and can record how many liters of milk the cow produces every day.

Around the Magic Valley, farmers are testing new technologies and finding more efficient ways to produce larger quantities of food. Technology has come a long way since the days of the horse plow.