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In the past few years whole sectors underwent a disruptive digital transformation, including the livestock and agriculture ones. Farmers cna now adopt new technologies to help them run their ventures.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) based technology mimics human intelligence through the application of algorithms that can perform a series of tasks and are built into computers, softwares, apps and all other forms of technologies.
AI prompted the inception of machine learning, deep learning and predictive analytics; collectively referred to as ‘data science’.
Today’s edition focuses on the use of Artificial Intelligence in the livestock sector.
Numerous software can help ease the process of data gathering in most agricultural enterprises around the world through easy access codes known as algorithms that govern these software. Oftentimes, free trial periods are granted to users prior to purchase of the software to test it. State of the art commercial farms make use of systems that help track individual performance of every animal, from first parity until culling phase.
Modern technologies for livestock data gathering by Farm4Trade
- Farm Management App and Productivity Suite
- Phaid – Photo Artificial intelligence Identification Software
- ADAL – Automatic Detection of Abattoir Lesion Software
Applications of AI in the agriculture and livestock sector
The use of these software makes life easier for farmers. Data gathered does not only benefit the farm only, but researchers, companies and many other stakeholders use it to make inferences that can help farms around the world to make informed decisions on individual animal performance.
Agricultural applications of Artificial Intelligence
- Improvement of feed quality with the use of robotics is quite efficient and speeds up harvesting time, when compared to traditional harvesting by hands. Moreover, the automated machinery indefinitely calculates moisture in the cereals harvest as well as overall yield.
- Computer enabled vision algorithms are used to target weeds. An interesting advancement in technology under AI, that further helps in mixing feed ingredients when making different rations for cattle, sheep and goats.
- Implementation of robotics to counter weed resistance to herbicides a major concern in agriculture, such that robots are used to spray specifically weeds. In doing so a farmer cuts on costs as weeds are only targeted.
- Better management of water resources thanks to automated center pivots for irrigation, mostly on hay grass plantations or sugarcane fields. These have enhanced success in most farming communities as all corners of the field are watered. The amount of water used is known and time is pre-set on when watering commences and stops.
- Though still developing soil monitoring algorithms can determine soil properties prior to planting any crops. In conjunction with drone technology, results are further analysed by experts on the computer. The results are comparable to what soil scientists in the laboratory would have attained and concluded on.
- Prediction analytics are used in weather forecasts to help guide farmers when to commence planting.
Livestock applications of Artificial Intelligence
- Satellite imagery yields one of unique features, that is, no need fot a pilot to capture the images whereas GPS telemetry facilitates tracking animals e.g. a herd of cattle grazing. From the comfort of your farm, one can set up the machinery to carry out any task.
- Data tracking and analysis applications, for example Farm4trade app and Productivity Suite, aid farmers in gathering data, optimizing animal feeding, improving overall economic performance and increasing the qualitative standard of their products.
- Improvement of animal health and food safety. ADAL is an innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) system for the automated acquisition of the images of pathological lesions in the organs of slaughtered animals. This innovative system is capable of analyzing and scoring the images and collects the results in an online report. ADAL is the first technology that applies deep learning techniques in the analysis of acquired images.
- Identification and traceability. Phaid is a contactless biometric AI (Artificial Intelligence) recognition tool for livestock identification and easy traceability. Its main goal is to improve animal health and welfare and to guarantee the safety of animal derived products. This innovative technology can recognize bovines with an extremely high accuracy. It is currently being adapted to domestic pets and other livestock species.
To sum it all up, artificial intelligence allows easy data entry on farm records, monitoring farm activities, analysing economic performance, improving animals’ health, improving soil richness. All these features and solutions strive towards ‘smart farming’.