Kiwi farm technology among Hi-Tech Award finalists

For the second consecutive year, Hamilton-based Dairy Automation Limited (DAL) has been named finalist in two categories of the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards.

For the second consecutive year, Hamilton-based Dairy Automation Limited (DAL) has been named finalist in two categories of the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards.

The subsidiary of farmer-owned co-operative LIC specialises in manufacturing sensor technology systems for the dairy shed, for real-time on-farm milk analysis.

Its CellSense system is a finalist for the Endace Innovative Hi-Tech Hardware Product award, and YieldSense system is up for the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Innovative Agritech Product award.

CellSense meters measure somatic cell counts for early detection of mastitis - it is the only fully automated in-shed in-line somatic cell count sensor in the world.

YieldSense is a combined full flow milk meter and milk component measurement device for the individual measurement of cow milk in the dairy shed - the six-in-one sensor analyses yield, fat, protein, lactose, conductivity and plant wash.

Both systems provide real-time results while a cow is being milked, that farmers can utilise to increase production, reduce treatment costs and make more informed herd management decisions.

They also integrate with LIC’s Protrack automation systems, so any cows identified by the sensor systems as requiring closer inspection or further treatment will be alerted to the farmer and automatically drafted at the end of milking.

DAL chief executive Gustavo Garza says it is an honour to be recognised by the awards again.

“These awards celebrate some of New Zealand’s most innovative companies," he says.

"We are honoured to be named a finalist and recognised as a leader in this field alongside other successful companies.

“The sensors are highly regarded by farmers in New Zealand and demand from farmers overseas is increasing too.

“Sensor technology has the potential to revolutionise traditional herd testing practices, and LIC is proud to be at the forefront of delivering this technology to our farmers.”

Winners of the 2015 New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards will be announced at a ceremony in Wellington on 15 May.

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