“Rumen pH sensors provide high resolution pH kinetics, and are of great interest in detecting SARA”

The eCow bolus has already been shown to be a vital tool in the continual monitoring of reticulo-rumen pH in dairy cows. However, recent research at INRA (National Institute of Agricultural Research, France) has used the eCow bolus to begin determining a more accurate way of detecting the onset of SARA (sub-acute rumen acidosis) using pH data.

Clothilde Villot’s team identified that there is currently no common consensus among scientists on the pH thresholds which indicate SARA. They determined that this was due to inaccuracies in different measurement methods, and inter-variability between individual cows. To address this they proposed that raw pH data obtained from boluses should be┬ámathematically corrected to produce what they called ‘relative reticulo-rumen pH indicators’. Using these ‘relative reticulo-rumen pH indicators’ they were more able to more accurately predict the incidence of SARA, than when they used raw pH data.This research is a big step forward in the prediction of SARA using the eCow bolus, and highlights the importance of clever data analysis.

Following the success of these studies, the development of mathematical models to provide ‘relative reticulo-rumen pH indicators’ is something we are going to be working on over the coming months at eCow. So keep an eye out for updates about how you can make the most of your bolus data.

You can read more about both of these studies on our recent publications page here.