Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 


Wellness for dairy cows

Does butter taste better when the cows are happy? How much is too much for a liter of milk? What will dairy cows of the future look like? What does a glass of milk have to do with environmental protection? Will cows be pastured in future, too?
These are some of the questions that the new Center of Integrated Dairy Research (Zentrum für Integrierte Milchwirtschaftliche Forschung) or "CIDRe" for short is looking to answer. Scientists from a wide range of disciplines are working in this recently established center at the University of Bonn for the benefit of a balanced and sustainable dairy industry.

For more than 10,000 years, humans have been using cows for obtaining milk and meat, as providers of fertilizer, and as draft animals. During cold periods, humans used the animals' skins or their leather for protection. In short, cattle helped humans survive under adverse conditions. The production conditions have, however, changed drastically over time. Originally, cows gave about eight liters of milk a day to feed a calf. Modern high-performance cows produce 50 liters a day now, sometimes at a dramatic price. "The dairy industry system has been off balance for quite some time," said Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Büscher, Speaker of the new Zentrum für Integrierte Milchwirtschaftliche Forschung at the University of Bonn (CIDRe).

Extreme increase in milk production results in problems

Due to the extreme increase in milk production, cows often need signi¬¬fi¬cantly more energy during the first 100 days after calving than they can take in with their feed. "This imbalance can result in fat and muscle wasting as well as metabolic diseases," said veterinary Dr. Susanne Plattes, CIDRe Coordinator. High-performance cows are more susceptible to fertility problems or hoof and udder infections. Dr. Plattes explained further, "The animals' wellness is becoming the focus for ethical and eco¬n¬omic reasons. If more species-appropriate animal husbandry results in better products, the economic advantages will also be obvious."
Environmental consequences

The environmental effects of modern milk production are also tangible. Gases that further stoke global climate change can escape from dairy cows' stomachs. Consequently, the central question the researchers involved with the CIDRe, who come from Agricultural Science, IT, Physics, Veterinary Medicine, Economics and Social Sciences, are seeking to answer is how the complex dairy industry system can be brought into balance. In addition to mere milk production, both the health and wellness of the animals, as well as the protection of the environment should be taken into account. Related to this are socioeconomic questions; such as, how highly - in terms of price - consumers value a sustainable dairy industry.

Unique research project at the Frankenforst research station

First, however, lots of data must be collected in order to be able to optimize the dairy industry system also with regard to animal wellness and environmental protection. Here, the Frankenforst research station of the University of Bonn plays a central role in this research area. "It is the only one of its kind in Germany and allows research at the highest level," said Prof. Büscher. So for example, a host of sensors captures how much feed a cow eats and how much she moves. Water intake, milk flow and ingredients as well as heart frequency are among the parameters that are recorded digitally, based on which the scientists can determine how each individual cow is doing. The animals' behavior is analyzed in cooperation with the University of Halle-Wittenberg.

Comprehensive measured data for a simulation model
The scientists want to capture the dairy industry system as completely as possible and then develop models from their results. "This will allow us to answer several critical questions," said Dr. Plattes. "Such as solutions for the trade-off between more freedom to move and the related increase in ammonia and odor emissions." In addition, the scientists are interested in finding out whether there is an increased health risk an increased health risk for cows with high milk production. But economic issues are also studied, such as the difference in dairy animal husbandry profitability on field versus pasture locations.
Support for young scholars

"Over the past years, interdisciplinary cooperation in diary industry research at the Agricultural Faculty has been intensified greatly," said the Dean, Prof. Dr. Karl Schellander. "CIDRe will focus the strengths of the participants involved in this research focus, intensify interdisciplinary research and contribute to increasing its visibility here and abroad." Another focus of the Center is supporting young scholars - among others, by means of the Theodor-Brinkmann Graduate School that offers both the Faculty's Master courses of study as well as its structured doctoral studies, all under one roof. In addition, the CIDRe is scheduled to offer an interdisciplinary Summer School.


Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Büscher (Speaker)
CIDRe (Center of Integrated Dairy Research)
Ph.: +49 228-732 396

Dr. med. vet. Susanne Plattes (Coordinator)
CIDRe (Center of Integrated Dairy Research)
Ph.: +49 228-739 418 or +49 6552-600 9915

Johannes Seiler | idw
Further information:

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Covering the bases with cover crops
01.10.2015 | American Society of Agronomy

nachricht Innovative seeding machine to speed up kenaf planting
23.09.2015 | Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Startschuss für eine neue Ära der Präzisionsastronomie

Für die MICADO-Kamera, das Instrument mit dem das European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) seine ersten Bilder machen wird, beginnt eine neue Phase: In einer gemeinsamen Absichtserklärung (Memorandum of Understanding) auf der „Kick-off“-Konferenz in Wien bestätigten die Partner in Deutschland, Frankreich, den Niederlanden, Österreich und Italien ihre Teilnahme am Projekt. Zwei Wochen zuvor, am 18. September, hatten das Konsortium und die Europäische Südsternwarte (ESO), die das Teleskop baut, den entsprechenden Kooperationsvertrag unterzeichnet. Nach diesen Meilensteinen tritt das Projekt nun in die Designphase ein.

Als erste, dedizierte Kamera für das E-ELT wird MICADO beugungsbegrenzte Abbildungen bei Nah-Infrarot-Wellenlängen (Wärmestrahlung) mit dem Riesenteleskop...

Im Focus: Kick-off for a new era of precision astronomy

The MICADO camera, a first light instrument for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), has entered a new phase in the project: by agreeing to a Memorandum of Understanding, the partners in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, and Italy, have all confirmed their participation. Following this milestone, the project's transition into its preliminary design phase was approved at a kick-off meeting held in Vienna. Two weeks earlier, on September 18, the consortium and the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which is building the telescope, have signed the corresponding collaboration agreement.

As the first dedicated camera for the E-ELT, MICADO will equip the giant telescope with a capability for diffraction-limited imaging at near-infrared...

Im Focus: Locusts at the wheel: University of Graz investigates collision detector inspired by insect eyes

Self-driving cars will be on our streets in the foreseeable future. In Graz, research is currently dedicated to an innovative driver assistance system that takes over control if there is a danger of collision. It was nature that inspired Dr Manfred Hartbauer from the Institute of Zoology at the University of Graz: in dangerous traffic situations, migratory locusts react around ten times faster than humans. Working together with an interdisciplinary team, Hartbauer is investigating an affordable collision detector that is equipped with artificial locust eyes and can recognise potential crashes in time, during both day and night.

Inspired by insects

Im Focus: Heuschrecken am Steuer: Uni Graz erforscht Kollisionsdetektor nach Vorbild von Insektenaugen

Selbstfahrende Autos könnten in absehbarer Zukunft auf unseren Straßen unterwegs sein. Ein innovativer Fahrzeugassistent, der bei Kollisionsgefahr das Steuer übernimmt, wird gerade in Graz erforscht. Manfred Hartbauer vom Institut für Zoologie der Karl-Franzens-Universität hat sich die Basis dafür in der Natur abgeschaut: Wanderheuschrecken können in brenzligen Verkehrssituationen etwa zehnmal schneller reagieren als Menschen. In Zusammenarbeit mit einem interdisziplinären Team erforscht er einen kostengünstigen Kollisionsdetektor, der mit künstlichen Heuschrecken-Augen ausgestattet ist und drohende Zusammenstöße bei Tag und Nacht rechtzeitig erkennen kann.

Tierisches Vorbild

Im Focus: Physiker schrumpfen Teilchenbeschleuniger

Ein interdisziplinäres Forscherteam hat den ersten Prototyp eines Miniatur-Teilchenbeschleunigers gebaut, der mit Terahertz- anstelle von Hochfrequenz-Strahlung funktioniert. Ein einzelnes Beschleunigungsmodul ist dabei nur 1,5 Zentimeter lang und einen Millimeter dünn. Die Terahertz-Technik verspricht eine Miniaturisierung um mindestens den Faktor 100, wie die Wissenschaftler um DESY-Forscher Franz Kärtner vom Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) betonen. Sie stellen ihren Prototyp im Fachblatt „Nature Communications“ vor. Das CFEL ist eine Kooperation von DESY, Universität Hamburg und Max-Planck-Gesellschaft.

Für kompakte Terahertz-Beschleuniger sehen die Autoren zahlreiche Anwendungen in Materialforschung, Medizin und Teilchenphysik sowie bei Röntgenlasern....

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>



im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics

Neurowissenschaftler diskutieren in Homburg die Funktionen spezialisierter Hirnzellen

07.10.2015 | Veranstaltungen

European Detergents Conference - Eine saubere Sache: Reinigen mit biobasierten Komponenten

07.10.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Smart Homes – Wie intelligent wollen wir in Zukunft leben?

07.10.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Intelligente Fahrzeuge im Stadtverkehr der Zukunft

07.10.2015 | Automotive

Forschungsinitiative präsentiert neue Verkehrstechnologien für Städte

07.10.2015 | Verkehr Logistik

Produkterweiterung: IP-Cores für die Echtzeit-Signalverarbeitung in digitalen Übertragungssystemen

07.10.2015 | Informationstechnologie