August 08, 2018

09/08/2018: How big data will challenge and change the feed industry

by Naomie Matil, Communications Specialist, GMP+ International, Netherlands

Emerging technologies and the increasing availability of data can have an enormous and positive effect on feed safety, feed quality and animal health. At the same time, the feed producing industry should be wary of a big data overkill.

Leo den Hartog of Nutreco and Johan den Hartog of GMP+ International (not related) about the challenges and opportunities of big data in the feed industry.

What do programmers, designers and user interface specialists have to do with pig production?
Well, these previously unrelated worlds crossed paths during a hackathon organised by animal nutrition company Nutreco in the Netherlands last year. Participants competed in a 48-hour challenge to come up with apps, websites or other smart devices that would benefit the pig production industry by sharing and integrating data from different stakeholders.

A positive impact
One of the initiators of this hackathon was Professor Dr Leo den Hartog, ‎Director R&D at Trouw Nutrition (a Nutreco company), and a big proponent of exploring the opportunities of new technologies in the feed sector.

“Precision Livestock Farming (PLF), feed evaluation, rapid diagnostics, and big data will have a huge impact on animal production in the years and decades ahead. It would be foolish to neglect those developments, or to think they will not affect us. They will.”

“And that can both be positive or negative,” adds Johan den Hartog, Managing Director at GMP+ International, owner of the world’s largest feed certification scheme.

“If companies keep doing what they are doing, they will definitely miss the boat. In that case, advanced technology can very well have a negative impact. But if you start exploring and using the emerging possibilities in tech, it can be extremely positive for your business: safety-wise, quality-wise and production-wise.”

Developments like Precision Livestock Farming enable farmers to use advanced innovations to optimise animal production. Sensors on animals can provide farmers with accurate and realtime information about each animal’s feed and water intake, behavior, psychology, fertility and overall health. They give insight in not just individual animals, but in the entire flock as well. This information ensures that farmers would be able to intervene at an early stage and can result in, for example, a reduced need for antibiotics. For crop producers, smart devices like rapid diagnostics or biochips can give them useful data about crop and soil status.

Read more HERE.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine Milling and Grain
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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