In February 2020, a large-scale study into infection pressure and calf rearing started on 100 Dutch dairy farms. Five dairy farms, including the Dairy Campus, are followed intensively for twelve months by students and lecturer-researchers. In this practice-oriented research, four agricultural colleges and the six partners join forces.
The aim of the research is to gain more insight into the infection pressure around the calf and the development of the calves during the first 14 days. In addition, they want to develop and validate a practical tool that can help livestock farmers and advisors in monitoring calf rearing. The study also pays attention to the infection pressure in the calf and it will be examined how we can keep this as low as possible in practice. Students and lecturer-researchers will visit 100 practical farms and visualize the calving and calf rearing. These insights are expected to contribute to the further optimization of calf rearing on the Dutch dairy farm.
Monitor calf more closely
There will be more intensive monitoring at Dairy Campus and four other dairy farms. Extra information will be collected with the use of sensors, extra samples, measurements and scoring of growth development. These data provide insight into the development of the infection pressure around the young calf and the growth and health of the calf during the first year of life. The developed tools will also be used on these companies to investigate to what extent they are ready for use and reliable.
The information gathered from this practical research will be shared during theme days, in education and in the form of publications.
This practical research is a collaboration between the four agricultural colleges, Aeres Hogeschool Dronten, HAS Hogeschool, Van Hall Larenstein and InHolland Delft. The project is financed by SIA, which is part of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), and various project partners such as ForFarmers, Iconize, Royal GD, MS Schippers, ULP, LTO Nederland and Dairy Campus.