Fieldays 2018. Acu-POLARIS detects the causes of mastitis in dairy cows in 3 ½ hours or less

Tim Moshier (left) President of U.S. company Acumen Detection and Doug Wallace Commercial officer for Australia and New Zealand (center) with U.S. Ambassador Scott Brown. Photo credit: U.S. Department of State.

Many of New Zealand’s close friends and partners, like the United States, recognise Fieldays as an opportunity for companies to showcase their products and services to the rural sector. Fieldays 2018, recently held in Hamilton, New Zealand on June 13 – 16 proved to be just that!

There is no question that Innovative technologies are important for the future of New Zealand’s farming sector, and Agribusiness mechanization and technologies are a significant U.S. export to New Zealand.  U.S. agribusiness equipment exports to New Zealand exceed US$1 billion, including big-ticket imports like combine harvesters, large-horse power tractors (100-hp and up), center-pivot irrigation systems, and agricultural implements.  

Showcasing an innovative mastitis test detection system, first-time exhibitor Acumen Detection from Syracuse, New York presented their Acu-POLARIS, a farm-based test developed in collaboration with Cornell University which detects the causes of mastitis in dairy cows in 3 ½ hours or less.  Incredibly, the Acumen Detection systems gives farmers the information they need to confidently reduce antibiotic use and make sound management decisions fast enough to make significant savings e.g. identifying cows with contagious forms of mastitis in hours instead of days so they may be immediately separated from the herd. This showcase proved timely, as Acumen’s decision to consider expanding its business to New Zealand coincides with the discovery of Mycoplasma bovis in some New Zealand dairy herds and the New Zealand Government’s agreement to attempt to eradicate the cattle disease.   

Acumen Detection’s test system is currently being tested by Dairy New Zealand and LIC, with plans to also test at Massey University.  The business-business matchmaking was prepared for Acumen Detection under the U.S. Commercial Service’s Gold Key Service.

President of Acumen Detection, Tim Moshier expressed his positive experience of the Gold Key Service and his time at Fieldays :

The support from the Gold Key Service has been fantastic!  Janet was very helpful in every aspect of planning for our trip, and did an excellent job at coordinating meetings with key stake-holders in New Zealand’s dairy industry.  We also had a lot of very informative discussions with visitors at Fieldays; discussions that give us a much better appreciation for the challenges facing New Zealand dairy.  We feel that we now have a solid base to work from so that we can continue our efforts to bring solutions that will help New Zealand dairy producers.”

A valuable, long-term outcome of their Fieldays experience has seen Acumen Detection develop relationships with New Zealand importing and distribution companies as well as within the New Zealand Government and Dairy New Zealand.  We look forward to seeing these relationships develop into further agribusiness partnerships.