Dairy monitoring bolus now available for FETF funding

Farmers in England who are looking to adopt smaXtec’s cutting-edge animal health monitoring system, can now get 50% grant funding, through the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund (FETF) 2024. 

close up of hands holding a phone displaying the smaxtec software, with dairy cow in the background

Applications for the latest FETF funding opened up this month, initially for the slurry management and productivity themes, followed by the animal health and welfare theme last week (22nd March).

The grants pay a percentage of the cost of certain items from pre-set lists. You can apply for one grant from each of the three themes – the fund is competitive.

Chris Howarth, smaXtec’s chief sales officer, welcomed Defra’s commitment to supporting the adoption of innovative technologies: “It’s fantastic that the UK government has recognised the significant value innovative health monitoring systems can have in improving the health, welfare and efficiency of herds. 

“This scheme demonstrates a broader shift towards more sustainable farming practices where technology plays a pivotal role in achieving environmental and economic goals. 

“smaXtec’s system is already benefitting many herds in the UK and will now be accessible to even more farmers thanks to Defra’s grant backing,” he adds. 

Dairy health monitoring  

The smaXtec system provides a comprehensive monitoring tool designed to enhance the health and welfare of dairy cows. By measuring internal body temperature to the nearest ± 0.01°C, the advanced bolus technology provides real-time data on various health indicators, including activity levels and ovulation patterns. 

“This level of detail enables early detection of health issues, optimises breeding times, and allows farmers to tailor nutrition, ultimately leading to improved herd health and increased productivity,” says Mr Howarth. 

“With added pressures on the dairy industry to meet demand, stay profitable and maintain high standards of health and welfare, systems such as smaXtec offer farmers a gateway to transform their farming operations.”  

Chris Howarth, of smaxtec, sitting at a table with the smaxtec system
Chris Howarth, smaXtec’s chief sales officer, welcomed Defra’s commitment to supporting the adoption of innovative technologies.

Applying for funding 

The smaXtec system is eligible for FETF under the automatic health and welfare remote monitoring system option (item reference FETF315SH). 

The scheme requires systems to monitor both oestrous behaviour and potential disease status via temperature. This requirement reinforces the merits of using a system that monitors multiple animal health and welfare parameters. 

While the FEFT is competitive, the smaXtec system scores highly, increasing the likelihood of being accepted. 

However, Mr Howarth suggests applicants work closely with their vet or adviser to bolster their application score and to consider what other items of equipment or technology may prove beneficial. 

The application window for the FETF animal health and welfare theme is open until 1st May 2024. There will be two more opportunities to apply this year. 

For more information and to apply for funding, visit the government website.

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