Lely Group in the Netherlands and New Zealand-based Livestock Improvement Corporation (NZX: LIC) have entered into a new partnership aimed at accelerating developments in sensor technology and increasing utilisation on farms worldwide. The partnership includes the acquisition of Lely Sensortec by LIC. Lely Sensortec is the Hamilton-based research and development division of Lely Group. Its five staff design farm sensor technology systems to monitor animal performance, production and health.
The ongoing working relationship between Lely Group and LIC will also result in joint R&D efforts to develop new sensor technology, and support wider global distribution of LIC’s inline milk sensors, developed by subsidiary business Dairy Automation Limited (DAL, soon to become LIC Automation).
LIC chief executive Wayne McNee says the partnership supports the farmer-owned co-operative’s strategy to provide its farmers with information to improve decision making.
“Integrated and reliable automation and information technology solutions have the potential to revolutionise farming worldwide and sensor technology is an essential component of this. The big data the systems can deliver, while a cow is being milked, can deliver big gains in productivity and profitability for a farming business.
“Lely has a strong reputation for delivering innovative technology systems worldwide. Working with Lely will support increased utilisation of our inline milk meters and our joint R&D focus will boost new developments in sensor technology,” he said.
Lely chief executive Alexander van der Lely says the partnership reinforces the impact of the Lely team in New Zealand. With LIC as a strong partner Lely is now able to further focus on developing its sensor technology for herd management.
The partnership follows LIC’s agreement with cow intelligence company SCR Dairy to distribute LIC sensors beyond the key geographies where the co-op currently has a presence and into Israel, Belarus, Russia, and Turkey.
New ownership of Lely Sensortec will take effect by 1 June 2015 and form part of LIC’s subsidiary, LIC Automation.