On his dairy farm Hurtgenlea Holsteins in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, Adam Hurtgen is milking 160 dairy cows. Having started with 45 cows milking, he has a total of 330 registered Holsteins on his farm today. After installing the smaXtec system in September 2021, he describes the foresight that smaXtec’s health alerts offer as a major benefit when managing his herd: “From temperature alerts, rumination decreases, calving alerts to activity monitoring – all four of which help add the level of care required to maintain a profitable enterprise.”
Adam’s main reason to look at smaXtec’s technology with the bolus was to maintain a higher quality of care: “We consider our cows the profit center of the dairy and in order to manage them, we felt that added technology and added information was going to be quite helpful for us.” As with smaXtec’s health monitoring solution, having good customer support and guidance from the initial phase on was equally important to him: “The smaXtec team has been very easy to work with, for understanding the different graphs and alerts and how to best implement your procedures and protocols for the farm.”
For Adam, having smaXtec on his dairy farm soon paid dividends: “This system is as accurate and precise as I have ever seen. I was able to identify a TMR mixer protocol that wasn't in the right order. By fixing that and understanding what was happening to the cows and each of their individual rumination helped solve a problem and level off any imbalances through the rumen and bring the cows back on line.”
Since its installation, smaXtec technology and its bolus have had a big impact on daily routines at Adam’s farm – in particular in the field of heat detection and calving: “Before, we did 90 % of our breeding with Ovsynch protocol and maybe 10 % were natural observed standing heat. With the smaXtec system in place, we are now breeding only 10 % on shot protocols.
The biggest benefit - and it's hard to pick one - is the calving alert that gives us a 10-to 12-hour notice. That is really special.”
smaXtec’s alerts and early detection enable Adam to act earlier, thus helping to mitigate problems and having cows recover as soon as possible: “From bunker management to watching for mastitis in the parlor, smaXtec gives us a wide range of data that really drives better decisions.” says Adam.