Lancashire rural business earns partnership with international technology firm

Award-winning Lancashire agricultural business Hoofcount has teamed up with Siemens to use technology to improve cows’ health.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 3:45 pm

The firm based near Garstang makes footbaths for cattle which track the cows and change the anti-bacterial fluid which helps to control disease.

Lameness is caused by bacteria picked up on the hoof which leads to restricted mobility, pain and reduces milk production.

Across the UK dairy industry, the financial impact of lameness is estimated to be well in excess of £100m and can also result in an increased CO2 footprint.

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A dairy cow using Hoofcount's footbath

Now Hoofcount will use Siemens’ expertise in combining the real and digital worlds using LOGO, an intelligent logic module for small automation projects in industrial settings.

LOGO manages the control of the key mechanisms of Hoofcount’s footbaths, such as chemical and water pumps, and animal feed controls.

Anthony Marsh, dairy engineer and founder of Hoofcount, said: “When we first introduced footbaths in the UK in 2012, we were already ahead of the game because they were quite new.

"But, with the rapid advancements in technology, we’ve reached a point where we need to go that extra mile and be revolutionary again. And, to keep leading the way, we needed that input and expertise from Siemens.

Anthony Marsh

“Working with Siemens has given us a thrust for producing the technologically advanced Hoofcount. Simply put, we have transformed our footbath into a pioneering piece of equipment that will eventually help cattle farmers in making data-driven decisions.”

The footbaths are optimised to reduce water and chemical usage, thereby reducing overall operational costs. They can link to a farmer’s mobile phone, be controlled remotely and have the capability to feed data up to the cloud for analytics.

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