Vienna, Austria – AT&T Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity is being deployed to help farmers manage their dairy cows to reduce costly veterinary bills and optimise production. Austrian-based technology company smaXtec is using AT&T IoT expertise to enable its smart sensor.
The company is already active in 25 countries, including the United States, Germany and the UK, and is planning to expand its operations over the next 12 months with the goal of having more than 1 million connected cows ‘in the field’.
Why is this important?
Dairy cows need close monitoring at each stage of their lives particularly from the moment they become pregnant for the first time, to producing milk and giving birth. The smaXtec sensor is swallowed by the animal and then remains in the first of the cow’s multiple stomachs. From there it provides data on inner body temperature, rumination, and movement activity, and can also be enabled to monitor PH levels.
Feed and medicine are some of the costs for dairy farmers. Saving even 1% on feeding the herd can make a farmer’s business more sustainable, while an early warning signal of potential ill-health allows for medical intervention and can help avoid the use of costly antibiotics to treat a sick animal. Farmers try to limit the use of antibiotics as prescribing them means the cow must be removed from the production process, and then certified as safe by a vet before it can be introduced back into the herd.
In addition to early detection of diseases the smaXtec solution, enabled by AT&T IoT connectivity, supports farmers with reliable calving detection and automatic heat detection. The technology informs farmers about imminent calving 36 to 6 hours prior to the young being born, allowing for monitoring and potential intervention to help the safe arrival of a healthy animal. The smaXtec sensor also detects changes in activity and rumination, providing farmers with an automatically calculated insemination window, improving insemination success.
The smart sensor gives the farmer this valuable information and actionable recommendations in near real-time on simple-to-use software applications. Users can access cow and herd data via the web or by using the smaXtec app.
John V. Slamecka, AT&T region president EMEA & LATAM says, “The IoT applications which can be enabled by AT&T’s global network never cease to amaze me. In this case the smart solution developed by smaXtec is delivering its priceless data from inside the cow. Animals that had to be inspected and monitored in person can now be checked remotely, saving farmers time and money. It’s a fantastic example of what can be done when a customer harnesses the scale of AT&T’s IoT connectivity.”
Stefan Rosenkranz, CEO, smaXtec adds, “As one of the founders of our company, I have been involved in every step of the journey from concept to commercialisation of the sensor technology. The feedback we get from farmers deploying the service is fantastic: making their lives easier and their farm business more profitable while improving the welfare of their animals through the smart use of data.
“As we prepare for the next phase of our development as a business, it was important we worked with a company which could offer us global connectivity and in particular a strong U.S. presence as we are building our market presence there. Our aim is to have 1M connected cows and I am delighted to be working with AT&T as we move forward.”