Katharina Kober, Data Scientist at Körber Digital, tells us more: “Our customer uses fully automated milking systems, also called milking robots. The cows can move freely in the barn and, if necessary, go into the milking station. The machine is attached to their udders without human involvement. This is comfortable for the cows and the farmer, but has a catch: possible udder diseases such as mastitis are not detected promptly by the farmer.”
And that can be expensive, because udder diseases not only affect the well-being of the cows, but also the milk quantity and quality. Milk from diseased cows has an increased cell count, which leads to lower milk prices at the dairies. According to the Upper Austrian Chamber of Agriculture, the loss per sick cow is more than 600 euros. “Data Science allows us to monitor the animals on the basis of data, rather than visually,” says the data expert, “and protects farmers from losses.” The task was therefore: on the one hand, to detect sick animals at an early stage to avoid infecting the entire herd; and on the other hand, triggering as few false alarms as possible.