Blinkies, cats’ eyes and UFOs. These are a few of the names kicking around for FlashMate, an award-winning local innovation and the world’s only heat detector that has clinically proven a six percent lift in six week in-calf rate (6WICR).
Word-of-mouth is spreading because farms are achieving excellent results across the length of New Zealand, making life easier in the process through greater labour flexibility.
In 2019, 10 farms that had not used FlashMate before, were selected for a herd-level study. The average increase in 6WICR was over six percent, with a range from three percent to 14 percent.
The product is not only for smaller holdings. Large Canterbury-based corporates are now rolling out FlashMate, following vet and farm manager evaluations in 2018 and 2019.
FlashMate gives the best bang for your buck, by accurately alerting multiple (including silent) heats throughout mating, lifting submission quality, driving up conception rates and adding profit.
The units stay on each cow and alert multiple heats over time.
“Anyone can easily multiply their herd by six, then multiply that by $4 to see what a six percent gain yields in extra profit,” says Fraser Smith, one of the creators of FlashMate.
He points out that heat detection is just one aspect of reproduction, adding healthy well-managed cows in good condition are the basis of good reproductive performance.
“Accurate heat detection is a big profit driver,” says Fraser. “We set out to offer a simple, low-cost way to help sustain our farming way of life.”
Staff need only draft cows on the red flashing light. Even inexperienced people can easily manage with little training or capital outlay.
“We’re seeing farmers turning up after milking with a coffee-in-hand to just cast an expert eye over drafted cows – all the heavy lifting is done.”
FlashMate uses touch-sensing to measure the most reliable ‘Primary Signs’ of heat, alerting spikes in bulling and chin-resting indicating heat. Objects like fences, trees, and hail are ignored.
The product flashes red for 26 hours for optimal insemination, then stops until further heat activity is detected on the next cycle during mating.
FlashMate is earning a reputation for picking silent heats, especially among farmers with an AB Technician background. Detecting just two silent heats per 100 cows covers the investment across the entire herd outright, helping make FlashMate a no-brainer.
Accepted by Japanese and Irish industry bodies, FlashMate is on cows in far-flung places, including China, Estonia and even Russia.
“We’ve worked with Cambridge University and are co-authoring scientific papers with the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Dairy Science in the USA,” says Fraser. “That’s about as credible as it gets.”
If you’re a good operator and well set up for AB, you should see immediate payback and a good return. FlashMate users are profit-oriented farmers who understand that accurate and efficient heat detection is a sound investment.
Article supplied by Farmshed Labs