Holstein UK has announced it will re-launch its updated Virtual Cow breeding model at this year's UK Dairy Day.

The innovative educational tool aims to enhance, develop and assist commercial breeding decisions.

Previously only available to Holstein UK members, the new Virtual Cow platform will now be available for all dairy farmers to access from the main Holstein UK website.

The programme also comes with additional features such as updated navigation and linear traits.

Virtual Cow

The Virtual Cow is an online tool which graphically illustrates the linear scale for cow conformation, including mammary; legs and feet; body conformation; and dairy strength traits.

This allows for improved understanding of dairy cow conformation and easy visualisation of anatomical differences within each of the 21 traits across the linear scale.

The virtual cow illustrates the angle from which each trait should be viewed and is accompanied by a written description of how and where each trait is measured.

It also demonstrates a range of locomotion scores with three on-farm videos that highlight the main differences between the scores.

Jess Edwards, National Bovine Data Centre (NBDC) research and breed development co-ordinator, said: “The new Virtual Cow will be available to use on all mobile, tablet and desktop devices and is a valuable tool for dairy farmers.

"It has the potential to transform the understanding of the structure and movement of the milking cow. This exciting redevelopment will include an advice and guidance section for each trait that draws upon the vast anatomical knowledge within our team of classifiers.

"The Virtual Cow can also be used by agricultural universities and colleges as a developmental tool for students looking to progress knowledge of dairy breeding.”

She added: “The new and improved Virtual Cow has been launched ahead of UK Dairy Day, the UK’s leading trade event for the dairy industry.

"It will be on display in the NBDC Breed Village, where members of the NBDC Classification team will run Virtual Cow alongside practical demonstrations for Type Classification and Linear Scoring for the Ayrshire, Jersey and Holstein breeds across the three sessions.”

The Holstein UK stand at UK Dairy Day will be based in Hall 2; H229.