High-tech system provides insights for dairy farmers


Connecterra was designed to bring the digital revolution to dairy farming and it uses artificial intelligence software to help dairy farmers and their industry partners make better decisions because they have more information.

Connecterra was founded in Amsterdam in 2014 by two former Microsoft employees and has partnered with large companies like Danone (which markets the Dannon brand) and Bayer to introduce this technology to farmers to provide them with unique industry insights. Connecterra is the only dairy cow artificial intelligence-powered company in the world.

The software and service, a SaaS business model, which the company calls Ida is now sold in 17 countries and is available in 10 languages. Ida currently tracks seven cow behavioral patterns and the programmers are working on 13 more. By integrating the cow data with data from farm management systems, farmer insights, and third-party data — like weather information — unique insights are generated for the farmer. Utilizing data from the company-supplied sensors, Ida detects rumination issues or reduced feed intakes when a cow is coming into heat, is non-cycling, or about to calve. Ida can track the effect of management changes, like the effect of a change in bedding material or a change in a feed ingredient.

The system currently has tens of thousands of subscribers, she said, in 17 countries. Farmers like it because it is insight-driven in fact Connecterra owns the hardware and supplies the software as a service to farmers for a subscription fee.

Ida means fewer sick cows, less antibiotic use, fewer timed AI programs, fewer open cows, and more efficient use of farm labor. The whole system brings more efficiency and creates a stronger partnership for the farm’s advisors. It can also be of benefit for the animal welfare goals and sustainability measures for the dairy farm.

Going forward, Connecterra plans to continue to increase its involvement in high-level research and development projects focused on animal health, animal welfare, sustainability, and agricultural technology integration on the farm.

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