We’ve heard a lot about “Big Data” and how it is helping row crop farmers get more out of every acre of land. But at the Alltech Global Dairy & Beef Conference in Deauville, France, they’re talking about how it is now changing how the livestock sector contributes to the food chain.
“We’re starting to collect large amounts of data,” Dr. Karl Dawson with Alltech told Chuck during the conference. He said that over the last few years, computer tools and even artificial intelligence have been developed that will give livestock producers more information on important decisions, such as feed and the types of management systems they use. “This is going to be something that revolutionizes what happens in the industry.”
Dawson predicts producers will be working more from armchairs and computers than they ever have in the past. Much like precision agriculture in row crops, they’ll have many of the same tools grain producers have, including important monitors for nutrition and possible contaminants. But he said that Alltech also wants to make sure producers have the skills to interpret the large amounts data that will be coming in. “So you do get a very good picture of where things are going.”
Alltech is also providing on-the-farm support, training their people to be on-site to collect the right information and know how to interpret it.
“It won’t be quite as simple as an app on your iPhone, but it will be something that if you feed in the appropriate information, it’s going to give you ideas and directions to go forward.”
He said the first generation of these tools are already being implemented in Europe and parts of the U.S.
You can listen to all of Chuck’s conversation with Karl here: Interview with Dr. Karl Dawson, Alltech