First D4Dairy Annual Meeting took place at the CSH

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The first Annual Meeting of D4Dairy took place on 22.5.2019 at the Complexity Science Hub (CSH) in Vienna. After an exciting keynote speech on "Big Data in Medicine" by Prof. Stefan Thurner (Scientist of the Year 2017), the progress in all projects was presented and discussed with the numerous partners present. The annual meeting was used to further network the synergies between the different experts in order to achieve added value from digitization for the farmers and the partners involved. The preparations for the pilot studies, in which farmers with equipment from partner companies can participate, are in full swing. Activities for improved communication between the systems and the RDV are in progress. Prof. Allan Hanbury and Dr. med. Christian Baumgartner from our Scientific Advisory Board gave feedback on the project progress.

Nearly all 44 project partners from science and economy came to the 1st annual meeting of D4Dairy on 22.5.2019 at the CSH in Vienna. The president of the CSH and this year's host of the meeting, Professor DDr. Stefan Thurner, presented the tasks of the CSH. "One of the main tasks of the CSH is to process and analyse such large amounts of data and then make meaningful forecasts in the sense of n=all. Through the D4Dairy project, we can carry out complex analyses and identify interrelationships by combining data from a wide variety of areas. The large amount of data allows us to recognize unexpected correlations. In the best case, new parameters for the early detection of diseases and their progression can be identified, i.e. preventive health care for cattle. We might be able to do something like 'personalized medicine' for cows, with much better data than for humans," says the 2017 scientist.

The participants of the 1st annual meeting of D4Dairy in the Complexity Science Hub (CSH) in Vienna.

2 Areas, 9 Projects

In order to work through such a comprehensive network in a well-structured manner, this project under consortium leader Dr. Christa Egger-Danner is divided into two areas, which on the one hand are managed by Priv.-Doz. Dr. Birgit Fürst-Waltl (BOKU, Institute for Animal Sciences) and Prof. Dr. Thomas Wittek (VetMedUni Vienna, University Clinic for Ruminants). The areas themselves are in turn divided into nine subprojects. Each subproject was given time during the presentation of the current progress of the project to obtain an up-to-date overview. The nine subprojects cover the areas of digitisation, data integration, setting up interfaces, online tools to improve herd management, promotion of measures to reduce the use of antibiotics, big data analyses for the early detection of diseases using genetic markers or infrared spectral data from milk, effects of the stable climate on performance, health and animal welfare, further development in the field of genetics and genomics, detection of mycotoxins in animal feed and effects on milk yield and fertility, the area of data protection and the area of knowledge transfer in order to make the research results available to a broad basis.

With the mobile app "Elektronisches Medikamentenbuch", the farmer has the information on drug documentation and the waiting times of his animals at a glance at all times. The app will be available to cattle farmers from autumn of this year. Photo: ZAR

Rumen boli are used to record valuable information such as pH value and temperature via the processes directly in the rumen. Photo: smaXtec

There are a number of different sensors that record information such as chewing activity or standing and lying times, thus providing valuable information on heat, calving dates or possible health problems at an early stage. The picture shows the SCR by Allflex system. Photo: ZAR

This should be achieved

"In order to achieve added value for farmers, one of D4Dairy's main goals is to network information along the milk value chain and generate synergies for all project partners involved. Improved communication and data exchange between systems on the farm and external data aims to ensure that each data set only has to be entered once. Through data consolidation and complex analyses, new and extensive knowledge on animal health and animal welfare should be gained", says Dr. Christa Egger-Danner(ZuchtData), head of the D4Dairy consortium. The Vienna Complexity Science Hub (CSH) is in demand for such data volumes in order to generate benefits from the extensive information. This should provide new and better parameters for breeding, which in turn should flow into the breeding value estimation. The findings from the project should provide better tools for the early detection of diseases and the optimisation of herd management (feeding ...), which will be made available to the farmer by means of practicable software tools. This will enable Austrian agriculture to position itself on the international market with its strengths such as high animal health, low use of antibiotics and ecological footprint.


Stefan Thurner

Stefan Thurner (Complexity Science Hub- CSH - MedUni Wien, Austrian Scientist of the Year 2017) hosted this year's D4Dairy Annual Meeting and presented the tasks of the CSH on the one hand and the results of the complexity research of the past years on the other hand.

Franz Papst

Franz Papst (TU Graz, Institute of Computer Engineering) presented approaches for integrating various data into a common database.

Elisabeth Quendler

Elisabeth Quendler (BOKU, Institute of Agricultural Engineering) showed possibilities for the optimization of workflows and automatic processes in dairy farms.

Franz Steininger

Franz Steininger (ZuchtData) reported on optimized feeding processes in cattle farming.

Lena Lemmens

Lena Lemmens (VetMedUni Vienna, Clinic for Ruminants) outlined the use of sensors for the early detection of lameness and claw diseases.

Clair Firth

Clair Firth (VetMedUni Vienna, Institute for Veterinary Public Health) described in her presentation the promotion of measures to reduce antibiotic resistance. D4Dairy builds on the findings of ADDA.

Marc Drillich

Marc Drillich (VetMedUni Vienna, Clinic for Ruminants) explained the progress of work in the project group Knowledge Transfer. A questionnaire for farmers, veterinarians and consultants is already in preparation.

Christa Egger-Danner

Christa Egger-Danner (consortium leader D4Dairy, ZuchtData) thanks the project partners for the excellent cooperation so far and gave a first overview of the 100 pilot farms for genetics and genomics, feeding, stable climate, herd management and mycotoxins.

Marlene Suntinger

Marlene Suntinger (ZuchtData) presented the first results from the feedback of the questionnaire of the control farms on the topics of automatic milking systems (AMS), sensors and automatic feeding systems.

Birgit Fürst-Waltl

Birgit Fürst-Waltl (BOKU, Institute of Animal Sciences, Head of D4Dairy-Area 2) moderated the five subprojects in Area 2.

Peter Klimek

Peter Klimek (Complexity Science Hub- CSH - MedUni Wien) showed which evaluations are possible by using comprehensive data from different sources. Big data analyses are intended to detect possible diseases in cattle as early as possible.

Andreas Werner

Andreas Werner presented the work of the internationally renowned project team on the use of milk spectral data as an indication of possible diseases. The health status of the herd can be monitored using milk infrared spectra and possible problems can be identified earlier.

Christoph Winkler

Christoph Winkler (BOKU, Institute for Farm Animal Sciences) presented the effects of the stable climate on animal health and animal welfare. By means of numerous sensors for the stable climate and also the outside temperature strategies for the improvement of the production efficiency are to be compiled in the context of the project.

Astrid Köck

Astrid Köck (ZuchtData) presents the use of KETOMIR for breeding.

Cameron Strachan

Cameron Strachan (FFoQSI) presents the detection of mycotoxins in feed planned by the project team around Qendrim Zebeli and their effects on fertility and animal health.

Rachateewan Khiosa-Ard

Rachateewan Khiosa-Ard (University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds) presents the planned sampling on farms to investigate the effects of mycotoxins on the performance of dairy cows.

Kristina Linke

Kristina Linke (ZuchtData) gave an overview of the D4Dairy project and the most important organisational issues.

Christian Baumgartner

Christian Baumgartner (Milchprüfring Bayern, scientific advisory board) sees the project D4Dairy structurally very well positioned and praises the fact that it deals with all cutting edge topics in this field.

Allan Hanbury

Allan Hanbury (Professor for Data Intelligence, TU Vienna, scientific advisory board) gave the project D4Dairy a very good report and pointed out to pay particular attention to the sustainability of the systems established in the project.

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