The importance of milk recording can never be overemphasised. Data not only promotes better herd management and planning, but it benefits the entire dairy industry. Logix Milk is continuously evaluated against international standards and regularly adjusted to meet the changing needs of clients. It accommodates the latest developments in animal measurement (including using recorded data for management decisions, breeding value prediction and breeding objectives). The resulting reports thus contain useful information that can assist farmers in making meaningful management decisions that will ultimately improve the herd genetically and increase profitability.
Structure of Logix Milk
- Test day milk weights and milk samples of every cow in participating herds are officially determined every five weeks throughout her lactation.
- After an analysis of the milk samples the results are electronically reconciled with the milk weights. Various calculations are made and production reports are compiled and immediately sent to the farmer via email. The farmer pays for the testing of samples at an accredited laboratory, data quality control, calculations, as well as professional management advice related to herd health, feeding and aspects impacting on herd productivity.
- Recorded test-day data is utilised for many purposes, among others for the prediction of 305-day milk, protein and butterfat yields, individual cow and herd energy status, efficiency of protein utilisation, health of individuals and groups of cows (udder health and metabolic status), fertility, lifetime production and other properties. Not only are levels of fat, protein and lactose used for these purposes, but also information on somatic cell count (SCC) and urea levels in the milk of individual cows.
- Milk production is adjusted for pregnancy, age at calving, season and stage of lactation. The 305-day milk production is calculated by employing measured and predicted daily production fitted to expected lactation curves.
- This curves are based on the level of production in the herd, season of calving, parity and age of the cow.
The applicability of production traits is obvious; an increase in production, relative to the type of production and feeding system, contributes directly to a higher output for the farm. Traits such as resistance to mastitis, ease of calving, and milking speed contribute to a decrease in costs. The recording of cow weights and condition scores are optional.
Prices include data analyses, calculations, relevant reports and relevant advisory services but EXCLUDE LABORATORY ANALYSES. Prices also exclude VAT.
Requirements for participation in Logix Milk
All dairy farmers (including stud breeders, commercial and emerging farmers) may participate in Logix Milk. The minimum requirements to start milk recording are:
- Proper identification of all animals on the farm
- Recording of all calving dates
- ICAR approved meters that can register the milk weights of individual animals to the nearest 0.2 kg; and
- Collection and analyses of appropriate milk samples, according to ICAR standards.
Various reports are generated in LOGIX, of which the most important are:
- Comprehensive herd summary
- Herd list with details of parents and ancestors (three to five generation pedigrees with performance and breeding values)
- Herd selection report based on lifetime and 305-day production
- Herd and breed statistics based on breed, region and number of times milked
- Annual summary of the milk recording herd that reflects the details of all the completed lactations in a specific test year
- Summaries of cow and bull progeny
- User-defined management reports, that can also be used interactively via the Logix website
- Management reports that incorporate professional animal science advice by a Stud Book professional animal scientist
- Benchmarking reports for comparison with selected herds in the same or other regions of the country
- Automated Herd Health reports and lists with cows needing treatment for udder health and metabolic disorders (ketosis and acidosis)
- Functional (linear) type trait report
- Herd Genetic Report
Various other registration, herd and administrative reports are also available to all participating farmers registered to use Logix. All reports to the farmer are available by email in pdf format.
Advantages for the producer participating in milk recording
- Logix Milk uses modern technology and methodology for calculating production data, resulting in appropriate management decisions. Yields are accurately projected based on individual and herd data.
- The true production per lactation for milk, butterfat and protein (factors affecting milk price) is calculated for every cow. The efficient producers are identified for use in future breeding programmes; ‘passengers’ that create losses for the herd are also identified.
- The genetic merit of each animal is determined through BLUP breeding values. Animals can therefore be evaluated directly across herds within breeds with regards to their genetic merit. The herd’s genetic trends over years, indicating the herd’s genetic progress, are also available. By utilising breeding values and genetic trends, a herd’s genetic history can be assessed and a well-planned breeding policy can be formulated to meet current and future market demands.
- Selection indices (values) are calculated for individual animals that aid in the identification of animals as parents of the next generation. These values are based on all traits and properties contributing towards herd profitability and also take factors into account milk price, direct costs, and others.
- Inbreeding coefficients are published for all animals indicating the animal’s own level of inbreeding due to relatedness of its parents. Inbreeding can also be calculated for possible future matings, based on ancestral information from both the sire and dam lines through all generations available on Logix to aid in lowering the rate of inbreeding in South Africa’s dairy populations.
- Health problems within the herd can be assessed by monitoring the somatic cell count (SCC) of individual cows.
- The nutritional status of every cow can be monitored by analysing the milk samples of individual cows for milk urea-nitrogen (MUN), changes in lactose, and assessing the relative values of fat and protein in the milk samples.
- The sale value of breeding animals is higher when production data, linked to genetic merit, is available.