Total Farm Management Practices Using RFID: Two Australian Dairy Farm Case Studies

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) has been deployed in government mandated livestock identification schemes across the world since the 1990s. RFID in its basic function can help authorities identify animals, especially when traceability becomes paramount during disease outbreaks across regions. This session provides a view of how an RFID-enabled dairy farm can leverage mobile network infrastructure towards achieving total farm management. The data for the study was collected from two case studies, both NLIS (national livestock identification system) compliant dairy farms on the South Coast of New South Wales in Australia, soon after the NLIS was mandated. The Cochrane and Strong Farms were used as models to illustrate the core and auxiliary technology components of an RFID-enabled dairy farm. Beyond satisfying the regulations of government agencies for livestock to be a part of a national identification system for tracking purposes, farmers are now venturing beyond mere basic compliance systems. Once installed, farmers have begun to realize that their initial capital investment into an RFID system holds great strategic potential. The initial outlay while substantial is a once only cost that with a few more application-centric uses can yield a return on investment manifold. This workshop session provides an end-to-end view of the infrastructure and processes required to achieve an advanced RFID-enabled state-of-the-art dairy farm.

Participants will learn about:

  • Regulatory changes in the livestock industry: identification, traceability
  • Mandatory components for RFID-enabled dairy farms
    • RFID tags and boluses, herd management software, fixed RFID reader, digital network
    • Auxiliary components for RFID-enabled dairy farms
  • Portable readers, weight scales, automated feed-dropping controllers, milk meters, milking controller units, drafting gates, temperature monitoring, tracking, calf-feeding machines
  • Benefits of total farm management

Presenter: Professor Katina Michael, Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences, University of Wollongong

Collaborator: Mr Adam Trevarthen, alumni of the University of Wollongong (for identification purposes only)

More here