Industry Spotlight - Dairy: The Use of Ultrasounds in Dairy Farms

With June —dairy month— just around the corner, we would like to highlight ultrasound use in the dairy industry. Reproductive ultrasound technology was first used on dairy farms in 1984. Dr. Ginther, at University of Wisconsin, and his team are credited with the first research involving ultrasound imaging of the bovine reproductive tract. Since 1984, an incredible amount has been learned about reproductive cycles, early pregnancy detection, fetal aging, fetal gender determination, ovarian structures and more.

The early ultrasound units were very heavy and cumbersome by today’s standards. These early units needed to be transported on carts in stanchion barns. We have come a long way since that time. Now, we have 3.5 pound ultrasound units with portable viewing devices that are so simple and easy to use that the early pioneers of ultrasound would be jealous. We have replaced the old cathode ray tube monitors with binocular and monocular viewing devices and portable monitors for teaching students.

The BoviScan HD paired with the NFI5000 monocular viewing device is a good example of the latest technology. The 3.5lb BoviScan HD has a 128-element probe and NFI5000 has the latest digital OLED display available. Dairy veterinarians can use this equipment for early pregnancy detection and ovarian examinations to assist dairy farmers in managing cows’ reproductive schedules.

We are thankful for the early research of Dr. Ginther and his team at University of Wisconsin and we are thankful for brilliant engineers around the world that have developed the amazing equipment that is available for today’s dairy veterinarians.


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