Tracker from Wisconsin company helps organize dairy farms' cattle data

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EDEN, Wis. (CNN) -- It's hard enough keeping track of all 1,600 cows on Abel Dairy Farms in Fond du Lac county, but to be a good dairy farmer, Steve Abel also needs to keep track of his herd's health.

Years ago, Wisconsin's Dave Cook recognized cattle information is disorganized on many dairy farms.

"They also need to know which are the high-producing animals, which are the low producing animals," he said. "That way, they can sell some of the low-producing animals for beef, and make sure they're keeping the best animals that they have on the farm."

All that data is gathered in many ways. One of those, is a Fitbit-like collar and little white earpiece which tracks an animal's activity level and rumination, based on how many times its mouth makes a chewing motion.

"Our software integrates those systems and also brings in milk data from the parlor," Cook said.

The software, BoviSync, makes a profile for each cow, which is accessible on any smart phone or computer. Herdsmen can enter data as well. Farmers are notified which animals need attention.

"I think it makes my people better herds people because they have instant access to the data," Abel said.

BoviSync is still in the start-up phase, but used on hundreds of dairy farms, many in Wisconsin.

"This will work for any size farm," said Cook.

Just like our own fitness trackers, BoviSync works towards a healthier herd.

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