The breeding and herd testing co-operative, Livestock Improvement Corporation, is extending its interests in sensor technology which it anticipates will evetually be in common use in dairy sheds for testing and analysing milk.
In the latest development, LIC and the Netherlands-based Lely Group have formed a new partnership aimed at speeding up developments in sensor technology and increasing its use on farms worldwide.
The partnership includes LIC's acquisition of Leyly's Hamilton-based research and development division, Lely Sensortec.
LIC's chief executive Wayne McNee said the co-operative started off in the milk testing business more than 100 years ago.
And sensor technology will be an essential part of that into the future.
"We purchased a company last year called Dairy Automation Limited, or DAL, which produces in-line sensors.
"They have the ability to produce real-time data about milk protein fat, somatic cell count and volume and give that information to the farmer straight away, so over time, we think that technology will be used more and more widely and that's why we've made a further investment in it, by acquiring Leyly Sensortec.
"And then we're going to work together in partnership to develop new technologies for the future, so improve the capability of the existing sensors, but also develop new sensors that can be used in the dairy shed, for example, to measure other aspects of dairy animal performance, production and animal health.
"This is a joint R and D partnership, but we will also use the capabiltiy ourselves to develop new sensing technologies for LIC itself."