Pune, 30th December 2023: In a pioneering move to address the often-overlooked issue of stress in animals, researchers at Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Rahuri have developed a groundbreaking app aimed at providing farmers with valuable insights into mitigating stress in their livestock.
The researchers, based at the Indigenous Cattle Research cum Training Center initiated by the Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, College of Agriculture, Shivajinagar, have created a unique mobile application focused on the temperature humidity index. This app, the first of its kind in the country, offers farmers accessible guidance on stress relief for animals and measures to prevent potential heatstroke.
While global warming and its impact on various sectors are frequently discussed, the specific effects on dairy cows and buffaloes have not received adequate attention. The research team, led by Dr. Somnath Mane and Dr. Dheeraj Kankhare, recognized the rising impact of heat stress on dairy cows, negatively influencing their health and milk production potential.
The newly developed app is designed to empower farmers by offering real-time advice based on the temperature and humidity index within the cowshed. Key benefits of the app include:
1. Farmers receive an index based on temperature and humidity in the cowshed.
2. Advice provided to farmers at home based on this index.
3. Immediate action can be taken when the temperature and humidity index indicate an increase.
4. Automatic activation of fan and water spraying systems in the cowshed.
5. Guidance on animal husbandry, fodder and feeding, eating times, and water planning.
6. Installation of sensors in the cowshed to relay temperature and humidity information to the farmer’s mobile device.
Heat stress, particularly prevalent in the summer, often leads to heatstroke in animals, causing a decline in milk production and fertility. Crossbred and exotic cows are particularly vulnerable, with a potential 30% reduction in milk production. Dr Somnath Mane emphasised that the app would significantly benefit farmers by helping them address and mitigate these adverse effects.
Dr Prashant Kumar Patil, the Vice Chancellor of Mahatma Phule Agricultural University in Rahuri, acknowledged the app’s potential to reduce the impact of heatstroke in dairy cows and contribute to increased milk production.