A targeted survey was designed with the aim of describing the diffusion of precision livestock farming (PLF) tools in one of the most intensive dairy farming provinces in Italy. Technicians at the Provincial Breeder Association of Cremona interviewed 490 dairy farmers and obtained data regarding the role and age of the respondents; the land owned by the farmers; their herd sizes (HS, lactating plus dry cows; small HS < 101, medium HS 101–200, large HS > 200 cows/herd); their average 305 day milk yield (low MY < 9501, medium MY 9501–10,500, high MY > 10,500 kg/head); the cow to employed worker ratio (low CW < 33, medium CW 33–47, high CW > 47 cows/worker); the use of PLF tools to monitor production, reproduction, and health; and the criteria and motivations for investing in PLF tools. The use of automated MY recording and estrus detection systems was primarily associated with HS (more present in larger farms), followed by MY (more present in more productive farms), and then CW (more present with a high cow: worker ratio). Concern about the time required to manage data was the most common subjective issue identified as negatively affecting the purchase of these tools. The future of PLF use in this region will depend upon the availability of an effective selection of tools on the market.
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