MSD Animal Health has added an extensive range of products and expertise to its offering in recent years.
With the acquisition of Antelliq in 2019 (global leader in animal health digital tracking, traceability and monitoring technology), IdentiGEN (DNA-based animal traceability solutions for livestock and aquaculture) in 2020 and LIC Automation Ltd (leader in automation and technology for the dairy industry) in 2021, the company is increasing its focus in the agricultural technology market.
MSD Animal Health is relaunching the automated somatic cell count (SCC) sensors acquired from LIC Automation Ltd. Formerly known as Saber SCC, this product will now be known as the ‘SenseHub Somatic Cell Count Sensor’.
The SenseHub in-line SCC sensors can be retrofitted to any existing parlour and provides quick and accurate real-time SCC results for individual animals within just two minutes of cupping. After the cups are attached, the sensor automatically detects milk flow and begins the test. A 2ml sample of milk is automatically mixed with reagent and undergoes an automated California milk test (CMT) to determine the SCC. The result is displayed via an optical indicator light with the colour representing one of five SCC ranges.
MSD Animal Health has taken the livestock monitoring technology market by storm, working with various partners, including veterinarians, farmers, milking processors and their distributors, to accelerate the adoption of SenseHub on Irish dairy farms.
William Minchin, Director of MSD Animal Health’s Ruminant Business Unit, said: “While MSD Animal Health has made these acquisitions at a global level, it is important that MSD Animal Health Ireland provide the right product for the Irish market. We evaluated the portfolio following each acquisition and opted for the products most suitable for the Irish market at this time. Of course, some of these products and/or solutions are already on offer in the marketplace, and in that case we looked for improvements following conversations with farmers and industry representatives.
“We have seen an unprecedented demand for our SenseHub livestock monitoring solution that provides heat and health monitoring for cattle farmers. Our SenseHub collars are fully integrated with our Allflex drafting gate which has been a game-changer for Irish dairy farms. In addition, we have seen a renewed appreciation for our Allflex Electronic Identification (EID) tags following the change in tag design and introduction of a three-year warranty through Mullinahone Co-op,” remarked William.
According to William, the adoption of agricultural technology at farm level is accelerating at an exciting pace and customer support is crucial for the company to meet farmer expectations.
“We know we have quality products, and we are excited by the possibility of further integrations and the addition of new products to our portfolio. The foundation of our company is our staff. To support our product portfolio, over the last 12 to 18 months we have recruited many of the top people from the agricultural industry to our team. We will continue to expand our technology offering and we have the top-class service and support to do so,” added William.
He admitted that the agricultural industry is increasingly under pressure from a sustainability perspective; however, William highlighted that Ireland has the expertise and science available to adapt to the agricultural environmental targets recently announced.
“We have been producing food of the highest quality in this country for generations. With some of the world’s best farmers and scientists present in this country, I believe that we will find solutions to meet these targets.
“From a company perspective, we aim to continue to evolve and help provide solutions to veterinarians, farmers, and industry alike. A product we are relaunching to the market is the automated SCC sensor; SenseHub Somatic Cell Count Sensor. These sensors provide an individual SCC reading to the farmer within two minutes of cupping the cow.
“This information enables farmers to make quick, more informed decisions, to optimise milk quality. Real-time information on SCC levels of individual cows will be even more important going forward than it is now.
“Individual animal information is highly sought after by the farmer and indeed the veterinarian where a herd may be experiencing a challenge with high SCC levels in the bulk tank. Teagasc research has shown that at an annual bulk tank average SCC of between 200,000 and 300,000 cells/ml equates to a milk loss of 485 litres per cow per lactation, that’s nearly 50,000 litres lost in one lactation in a 100-cow herd!
“Products like the SenseHub SCC sensors can help dairy farmers produce more high-quality milk while reducing antibiotic usage and saving on time, labour and treatment costs,” concluded William.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.