I went to the #pdf2016 to redefine SARA it was held up in Friesland at Leeuwarden where a consortium of government agencies, dairy industry and research institutions has built a huge research centre heavily focused on robotics and automation. The Dairy Campus only opened a few weeks ago and is highly impressive. In parallel the Dutch and Frieslanders organised the First International Precision Dairy Conference and it was a very impressive affair following on from the first meetings in North America. It is very clear that robotic milking is growing rapidly with two million cows now milked by robots daily every day around the world and with many new sensing technologies coming into existence with cow location being the current fashion.
I presented two papers about rumen boluses. The first focused on how we can redefine SARA using rumen pH telemetry using 5.8 pH as a threshold below which cows should not spend more than and as yet undefined period of time. Reticulum pH values from telemetry can displace very invasive rumenocentesis or oro-rumen sampling.
In the second paper I showed how we now understand what limits the life of the bolus and how we can detect the failure of the sensor from the data. Drift Detection Detecting sensor drift by reference to the changes in the sensor value