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How Is RFID Being Utilized to Improve Dairy Operations?
Is the technology's use prevalent in that field?
—Name withheld, Saudi Arabia
Tracking cows in dairies was one of the first applications of radio frequency identification. Currently, RFID is being employed by many dairies worldwide, for a variety of applications.
In the United States, Costa View Farms, a 6,800-cow dairy, is using handheld interrogators and in-ear tags to more quickly locate and treat animals, update records and boost milk production (see Costa View Farms Milks Savings From RFID).
Chitale Dairy, in India, is using a system developed at Bombay Veterinary College that combines RFID and cell-phone technologies to track data related to the health of cows and water buffalo on small farms (see Chitale Dairy Uses RFID to Improve Milk Yields).
Dairies are also employing RFID to track products as they move through the supply chain. Well's Dairy, the largest family-owned dairy-products manufacturer in the United States, not only met Wal-Mart's RFID tagging requirements, but also developed an RFID system to drive improved performance and profits (see Wells' Dairy Milks RFID for Benefits).
Daisy Brand, meanwhile, is utilizing RFID data to manage promotions and the introduction of new products, and has also installed upgraded hardware, while planning an expansion to its new warehouse (see Daisy Brand Benefits From RFID Analytics).
Dairy Farmers of America, the U.S. dairy cooperative that produces and markets Borden, Breakstone's and other products, is running an RFID system to manage and track the tagging of cheese shipments and product promotions remotely (see DFA RFID-Enables Its Cheese-Processing Plants).
RFID solutions provider OATSystems has produced a white paper on this project (see Dairy Farmers: Putting RFID Into Production).
In New Zealand, milk-products producer Fonterra and dairy lab SAITL are saving time and money by using passive 13.56 MHz RFID tags to identify batches of milk from farm to factory, and to test samples for safety and quality (see New Zealand Dairy Group Milks Many Benefits From RFID).
In Spain, Leche Pascual, a producer of dairy products and other packaged foods, is utilizing data from the RFID tags to optimize production, improve food safety and reduce shipping errors (see Leche Pascual Plans to Use RFID to Pack and Track Food Products).
There are many other examples, but you can see from the above that RFID can help with tracking cows, the milk they produce, the manufacturing of the products created from that milk, and the management of the shipping and selling of these products.
—Mark Roberti, Editor, RFID Journal
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