The rumen pH is an indicator of the healthiness of the cow and provides an indication of the cow’s ability for milk production. In 2015 666B litres of milk were produced globally, a 30% increase since 2005. With this trend set to continue the pressures on the dairy industry to deliver this supply, whilst also being a carbon neutral industry by 2050, is significant.
Acidosis, where the rumen pH drops below 6, severely impacts dairy production, whilst causing the cow to orally release greenhouse gases. Indeed, in excess of 50% of the methane produced from a cow is due to the enteric fermentation.
The development of a low cost, long lifetime pH sensor will not only enhance dairy production, having significant economic impacts for the industry and end users, but also reduce greenhouse gas emissions too.