Excellent ROI on new Gallagher Flashmate heat-detection device
Gallagher has launched an innovative heat-detection device in Australia that offers dairy farmers a huge return on investment (ROI).
Gallagher Group Product Manager Mike Hemsley said, "Missing a heat costs money due to no milk production. A commonly used figure in the industry is around $200 per cow — but any amount is too much; however, using Flashmate to detect cows in standing heat that are ready to artificially inseminate can raise in-calf percentages, and, therefore, profits."
The Flashmate® Electronic Heat Detector is a stand-alone, disposable device that monitors cow heat behaviour 24/7. Fixed on the cow's flank beside the tail ridge, Flashmate monitors riding activity and flashes red when a cow is in standing heat. Full testing in New Zealand has proven increases in six-week, in-calf rates.
"The benefits of a tighter calving pattern are significant: including more days in milk, fewer empty cows and more calves produced through AI."
"And while farmers will be exceptionally pleased by the financial returns, there are many other benefits to using Flashmate. Other heat-detection methods rely on experience and interpretation – with varying results — but Flashmate leaves no room for doubt: if it's flashing red, mate her.
"Its simplicity and clever design mean even staff with a limited understanding of heat detection can use Flashmate successfully. The test farmers were actually able to take time off during the mating season for the first time in years, having full confidence that the heat-detection job would still be done accurately in their absence."
Easy to use
Mr Hemsley said Flashmate was simple to affix and stayed in place.
"Sitting it beside the tail ridge maximises retention and doesn't interfere with tail-paint application. It comes with simple installation and maintenance instructions, so even first-time users can achieve expert-level heat detection."
Once a heat is identified, Flashmate flashes red for 26 hours, indicating the cow is ready for AI. The device continues monitoring for subsequent heats, and if the cow doesn't return to heat after 25 days it will begin flashing green to indicate the cow is a "non-return" and probably pregnant.
"Because Flashmate is a stand-alone, one-season product, there are no set-up capital costs, with the full benefits and a huge ROI achieved the following season.
"It's like having a farmer with more than 30 years of experience in heat detection sitting alongside each cow for the duration of breeding."
Thousands of hours of research went into developing Flashmate, the brainchild of two NZ entrepreneurs who chose Gallagher as their commercialisation partner because of its strong brand and global reach.
The easy-to-use device, with patents pending, utilises technology similar to the touch screen on a smartphone, which is coupled with an intelligent microchip to look for specific patterns of riding activity, including the frequency, number and length of contact. Flashmate detects an extremely high percentage of cows in heat, including those very difficult to detect using tail paint alone.
Flashmate generated huge interest among dairy farmers looking to improve their in-calf rate and bottom line at its NZ launch at the 2016 National Fieldays.
"Flashmate is the most exciting, simple, yet innovative heat-detection product the market has seen. Trial farmers reported that seeing more and more green lights arrive at the shed each day was a really positive experience and provided early feedback that the job had been done well."
Flashmate will be available in Australia, via rural resellers, from 16th May, 2016.