42 % of farmers use a herd management program

Smart Animal Tracker – The study about digitization in cattle farming

Terms such as "Agriculture 4.0" or "Precision Farming" shape today's agriculture. In times of big data and automation, the expectations of digitization are also very high in animal husbandry. But do animal keepers in Germany incorporate the new technologies into their daily work? In their latest study "Smart Animal Tracker", the Kleffmann Group gives answers to these questions. Taking into account the size of the farm and the region, the study provides insights into the usage behavior and, above all, the willingness of dairy/cattle farmers to invest.

Importance of processing and analysis of animal-related data for the future of agriculture

All in all, German farmers show great differences in their attitudes and usage patterns towards digitization. In general, farmers with a larger herd use digitized products more often than farmers with a small herd. Overall - more and more farmers are aware of digitization. It becomes increasingly apparent that digitization is important and offers many advantages. This is shown, for example, by the following results of the study:

Do you have a herd management program?

Most of the farmers interviewed think it is important to process and analyse the animal-related data in future (56.9 % of the farmers). In addition to this, 42 % of the farmers use at least one herd management program. In this case, the study shows significant differences in terms of herd size and farm orientation. A comparison of the different milking systems shows that almost half of the dairy farmers have a fishbone milking parlor. The milking robot competes with the milking pipeline. While the milking robot is rarely used by small farms, it plays an increasingly important role in the workflow of large farms. The Side by Side milking parlor (also parallel milking parlor) is used by 8 %, while 7 % milk with the Tandem milking parlor.

In %, base: all respondents, n=425, single response

From April to May, the Kleffmann Group interviewed a total of 425 farmers with at least 20 cattle by telephone and online. "Cattle" here comprises the entire genus "domestic cattle" - from calves to dairy cows to breeding bulls. Due to this range, the results can be differentiated in the usage behavior of beef and dairy farmers, in addition to the herd size and region. The focus of the study lies on stable, feeding and milking technology, as well as on herd management, animal health, information sources and purchasing behavior. The awareness and usage of the manufacturers were surveyed for almost every one of these areas.


Kathrin Sievers, Project Assistant AdHoc Research

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