They could do worse, the staff of agtech company Connecterra. Its been a week now since they have moved into the brand new Kraanspoor building in Amsterdam-Noord, with a dream view of the IJ, Dutch daily newspaper Trouw reports.
“We also had to make a quick decision to move over here,” says Niels Molenaar, customer success manager at Connecterra. “But we fit well here, and the previous office became too small as our team is now consisting of way more people.” That’s how fast it goes at the Dutch tech company, which employs people from every corner of the world. Molenaar: “From Pakistan to Romania, they are the best people in the world in their field.”
That area is – data. Or more precisely: applying artificial intelligence to the behaviour of cows. Connecterra developed a sensor that follows the movements of a cow. The farmer fits the sensor around the neck of his cattle and with an app on his phone he checks how his cows are doing. You can detect a lot from the way a cow moves and behaves. Molenaar: “Walking behaviour, eating behaviour, staggering, ruminating behaviour. If a cow is very active, chances are that the animal is in heat, but you can also see the behaviour of the cow if she is ill or has a hoof problem for example.”
Early detection of mastitis
Even udder inflammations can be traced with Ida (Intelligent Dairy Farmer’s Assistant). Molenaar: “Cows have a fairly standard behaviour, so from our behavioural data, farmers can fairly accurately assess what is going on. For example, farmers can set up the app so that the system gives a signal if a cow has a sore leg, to be able to find such a thing.” Now that dairy farms become bigger, often with more staff employed, a farmer’s assistant such as Ida for farmers is indispensable. After all, it is impossible to know 2,000 cows. For the time being, the Amsterdam tech company is the only one in the world that can do this trick. That is why the service of Connecterra is not only popular with Dutch dairy farmers, but also large livestock farmers from other countries in Western Europe, in the USA, and Canada use Ida.