Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Solutions and prospects for digital documentation of treatment data on-farm

The recent trend towards fewer farms with increasing herd sizes and the public’s growing demand for documentation, transparency, high welfare and legislature in the European Union emphasise the need for smart farming solutions to support farmers. The aim of this review was to describe tools and systems which are able to digitally document treatments and medicine used in pig and milk production on-farm. The systems described were categorised into systems documenting at the time of application, systems working with mobile applications or web- and computer-based operating systems, either working with or without individual identification. Additionally, the tools and systems were revised towards their ability to fulfil the requirements of European legislation. Treatment data have contributed in many research approaches to topics such as health and production surveillance, herd health management, animal welfare, animal breeding and production performance. The advantages of digital solutions lie in the simplification of work procedures and the availability of data, which provide the basis for analyses and informed decisions, leading to improved farm productivity. When comparing on-farm documentation of medicine usage and veterinary records of use and sales data, on-farm data are inferior in accuracy. Nevertheless, the need for on-farm documentation of medicine usage has been highlighted several
times. References to specific systems in scientific journals and external evaluations of systems are rare. The implementation of a digital documentation system producing data of quality represents the first step. Further steps should include data analyses, interpretation and the connection of different data sources, following the approach of precision livestock farming and the Internet of Things.

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