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Smart Farming in the Dairy Sector

Koeien in een stal - Online cursus Smart farming in the dairy
  1. HAS Bedrijfsopleidingen
  2. Bedrijfsopleidingen
  3. Smart Farming in the Dairy Sector

Smart farming is an important topic in the dairy sector. The use of sensors is becoming more and more common practice. Many sensors that measure and monitor physical or behavioral characteristics of the animal or characteristics of the products (e.g. milk) or of the environment of the animal are on the market or are being developed. Sensors are used to maximize animal and herd performance, to monitor health of individual animals and, on herd level, to timely detect problems and to help the farmer in making decisions. Sensors can monitor the animals 24/7, and this enables them to detect deviation in physical or behavioral characteristics with more accuracy than a person.

About this course

Examples of smart farming technologies include milk yield recording systems, inline systems to measure milk components and characteristics, activity meters to monitor behavior and/or for heat detection, automated measuring systems for body condition scores and positioning systems. The insights obtained with these sensors help the farmer to make the right decisions and take action. With these technologies, the role of the farmer changes from using only his own observations to monitor the animals to combining data and using all that information to make the right decisions. By means of proper processing of these data in combination with decision support systems, the application of these sensors can improve animal monitoring and on-farm decision-making, thus improving cow performance, animal health and welfare and sustainability.

Research groupPrecision Livestock Farming of HAS University of Applied Sciences brings together considerable experience in applied research, education and practical business skills. In order to share this knowledge and experience with international professionals in livestock dairy farming and related industries with special interest in smart farming, we now offer an online course in Smart Farming in the Dairy Sector.

This course can start on request (in-company).

What can you expect?

The online (e-learning) course consists of 9 modules. Each module uses different teaching methods such as short lectures, articles and videos. The course also includes assignments and live chats with the course lecturer.
At fixed points during the course there is a virtual connection with the lecturers.
The course content is based mainly on practical applications of sensor technologies. More complex theoretical content is only added when absolutely necessary. Several smart technologies in dairy farming are covered, including activity meters, external and internal temperature sensors, automatic weight measurement tools and minilab systems to measure milk parameters.

Course content per module

Week 1 Introduction

Introduction to the e-learning platform, HAS University of Applied Sciences and the various course lecturers.

Week 2 Activity as a measure of health

Activity can be used to monitor health and behaviour. This module covers different systems that are used to measure activity for health purposes.

Week 3 Activity as a measure of reproduction

Increased activity can be an indication that an animal is in oestrus. This module presents and discusses different technologies used to measure activity, with the aim of detecting oestrus and advising on optimal insemination time.

Week 4 Livestock positioning

Where is my cow? Positioning systems can be used to find the cow in the barn, but also to monitor behaviour. This module covers the different techniques and how they are used.

Week 5 Nutritional status

Internal sensors (boluses) can monitor pH in the rumen or reticulum. It is also possible to automatically monitor the amount of body fat, using a body condition score camera. This module explains these techniques and discusses their practical application.

Week 6 Parameters measured in milk

Minilabs and inline measurements of milk parameters can tell us more and more about the health, reproductive status or metabolic state of the cow. This module covers the mechanics and use of the different systems.

Week 7 Temperature

Temperature is an important parameter in monitoring health. Body temperature in general can be monitored to detect a fever and to signal a disease. More specifically, udder temperature can be monitored to detect mastitis. This module looks at different technologies and how they are used.

Week 8 Weight

Weight sensors can use body weight, as a measure of metabolic state or body condition. Weight sensors can also be used to detect lameness, by measuring step motion or weight distribution on the legs while the cow is walking. This module outlines a number of these systems.

Week 9 Wrap up

Course duration

The course consists of 9 modules with an average study load of 1.5 hours per module.

For who?

The course, Smart Farming in the Dairy Sector, is designed for anyone involved in dairy farming in the Netherlands or abroad, who wants to learn more about which sensors are on the market and how they are used. Prospective participants include international dairy farmers, veterinarians, farming consultants and suppliers, as well as students from other universities.


The course materials are at bachelor level and the course is offered in English.


The course is offered completely in English.


After the successful completion of all 9 modules, participants will receive a certificate of participation from HAS University of Applied Sciences


Nader te bepalen
9 weken
€ 495,00
excl. BTW


€ 495,00
excl. 21% BTW
€ 495,00
excl. BTW
€ 103,95
€ 598,95
incl. BTW

Any bank/administration fees are for your own account.

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