Information and Communication Technologies and Robotics for Sustainable Agriculture
ICT in large and small dairy systems

Project No: 14306

Project dates:
1 Apr 2013 - 31 Mar 2016

Chris Knight, University of Copenhagen (Denmark)

Collaborating Institutions:

Klaus L. Ingvartsen, Aarhus University (Denmark)

Rupert Bruckmaier, University of Bern (Switzerland)

Ilias Kyriazakis, School of Agriculture Food and Rural Development (United Kingdom)

Ivan Andonovic, University of Strathclyde (United Kingdom)

Nicolas Friggens, INRA (France)

Paolo Berzaghi, University of Padua (Italy)

David Roberts, SAC (United Kingdom)

Riona Sayers, TEAGASC (Ireland)

The DairyICT Project pages
Full report


Proposal Summary

This multidisciplinary project seeks to integrate and extend existing state of the art technologies to ensure sustainable and responsible management of dairy units, with focus on cow health, milk quality and reduced emissions. We shall focus on milk metabolomic methods for determination of metabolic health, biomarker technologies for assessment of systemic health and accelerometer collars for measuring various activities including feeding behaviour, and hence intake. We shall also have access to NIR technology for feed quality assessment and rumen-bolus technology for measurment of rumen pH. We have advanced teleonomic technologies that will enable us to integrate these input data into decision support tools. Our technologies will monitor animals and environment, detect deviations from the

Main Results

The DairyICT project has:
• Resulted in scientific publications relating to milk-derived biomarker assessment of metabolic status in dairy cows, stress-related biomarker assessment in samples taken non-invasively from dairy cows and biomathematical modelling of health and welfare status from sensor data
• Lead to the production of a blueprint for introduction of wellbeing monitoring technologies, published as a peer reviewed review article in Journal of Dairy Research
• Contributed to the development of a commercially successful accelerometer technology capable of monitoring feeding behavior in addition to detecting estrus
• Lead to the establishment of an EU funded COST Researcher Network, FA1308 DairyCare


Commercial exploitation: The accelerometer technology that grew out of DairyICT has been puchased by a major milking machine manufacturer and is now sold around the world for reproductive and health management in dairy herds. A number of related technologies are being developed by European companies, mainly SMEs, including two Scottish companies that had direct involvement with DairyICT.
Scientific Exploitation: DairyCare is an EU funded COST Action established in 2014 by DairyICT partners and others, and now has a membership of around 750. DairyCare has organised 4 major international Conferecnes, 4 focused Workshops and a Training School in support of its objective of accelerating the development and application of technologies to assist good dairy husbandry.