Data handling and processing to evaluate dairy farm management through a web application.

A. Pozzebon* 1, G. Azzaro 1, M. Caccamo 1, R. Petriglieri 1 and G. Licitra 1,2

1- CoRFiLaC, Regione Siciliana, S.P. 25 km 5 Ragusa Mare. 97100 Ragusa, Italy.
2-  DISPA Catania University, via Valdisavoia 5, 97100 Catania, Italy.


Dairy farms have increased needs to leave traditional management systems (paper) to better direct their business using advanced computer systems. A software platform was developed for farmers belonging to Ragusa province in order to support dairy advisors for management decisions aiming to improve productivity and maximizing incomes. The software object of this study was implemented specifically for the dairy cows breeding and aims to show real-time weaknesses of the dairy production chain to allow timely changes to maximize production. This information system integrates production, reproduction and health data of each cow, the chemical analysis of milk and forage, production costs and curves of prediction, with the ability to edit data manually or import from other existing data handling systems. The web application is available as a web-service coupled with a mySql database queried through a web interface implemented using Ajax-PHP with single user limited reserved access. The code was divided in several modules and embedded dynamically in the web pages. The whole project was developed according to a spiral model characterised by a series of updates planning, module development and testing that let the system to continuously evolve. Besides the herd management, the platform provides reports (e.g. monitoring lists, reproductive efficiency report, milk quality, lactation yield prediction curves) useful to re-plan farm strategies when abnormalities occur.

Keywords: business management, dairy cows, web service.

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Alessio Pozzebon