The pilot program is taking place in farms in north-west Australia and has been organised by the country's Northern Herd Development (NHD) co-operative. The aim of the program is to eliminate the manual work associated with milk testing.
The hand held device can read bar codes on the cows that identifies the animal's herd details and generic history. This the organisation claims eradicates the need for visual cow identification and streamlines the testing process for farmers.
RFID ear tags are placed on cows and as a cow enters the dairy an antenna and reader box read the cow identification information and wirelessly transmit the information to the hand held unit.
Companies involved in the project include Icon Global Texas instruments and Robot Technologies. The program has been funded by the Commonwealth Dairy Regional Assistance program.
The NHD has indicated that there has been German interest in the software. It is thought that the system will go mainstream in Australia in the following months. The technology potentially could lead to increased farmer profits and could increase the quality and quantity of milk production.