Skip to main content
RISE logo
Photo: Per Peetz Nielsen

PLF – improving both health and production in dairy cattle

The aim of the project is to develop sustainable dairy farm production using real time positioning technology. The focus is on the social environment of cows in free-stall dairy farms and how transmission of diseases can be predicted using monitored movement and interactions between cows.

Precision livestock farming
Sustainable dairy production

In precision livestock farming there is great interest in measuring behaviour using advanced technology. This technology is starting to become mature but our knowledge is still limited in how behavioural traits affect production and disease transmission.

A primary component of the project is to use a real time location system to study the indoor movement and social interactions of dairy cattle. We will investigate the possibility to select for increased milk yield considering effects of social interaction with the purpose to improve the social environment of the cows. We will use theory developed for indirect genetic effects (IGE). To model IGE, it will be essential to first understand the social interactions, as an IGE is a genetic effect of an individual on the trait value of the other individuals in the same group. The location and movement of the cows will also be used to investigate disease transmission.

An existing simulation model of spread and control of mastitis causing pathogens will be further developed using cow location data and pathogen data. We will develop decision-support tools for farmers to minimize transmission of mastitis within their dairy farms in close collaboration with Växa Sverige.

The output of this project has a high social value and will contribute to increasing the sustainability of dairy production. Improved animal welfare will be beneficial to the animals and with the information related to spread of diseases in the herd, the farmer will be able to detect cows in risk and thereby reduce the effect disease has on production.


Project name

PLF and disease transmission



RISE role in project

Project partner

Project start


Four years

Total budget

17 276 450


University of Copenhagen, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences




Project members

External press

Supports the UN sustainability goals

2. Zero hunger
12. Responsible consumption and production
Per Peetz Nielsen

Contact person

Per Peetz Nielsen

Senior Forskare

+46 10 516 69 29

Read more about Per Peetz

Contact Per Peetz
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

* Mandatory By submitting the form, RISE will process your personal data.