Digitalization is a boon to the human race. Innovations like big data, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and sensor technology have disrupted every aspect of our lives. Digital transformation promotes simplification and allows businesses to build models. These are cost-effective and offer consistent value.
Recently, digital technology has placed a mark on livestock farming.
Why does livestock farming need new technologies? How are digital services going to benefit this sector? If these questions have crossed your mind, do not worry. We will explain all the aspects of using digitalization in livestock farming.
Digital technology in livestock farming: The importance
Like other sectors, livestock farming is constantly improving and evolving. The reason is to meet the ever-growing needs of the people. We know that population growth is at its peak. It has led to an increase in demand for protein. If we depend on traditional animal farming techniques, the supply will suffer. On the other hand, the rise in production can have a severe impact on the environment.
According to this study, the livestock sector accounts for 7.1 gigatons of CO2 emission per year. That means the increase in production will directly impact the level of pollution. This called for an alternative such as “sustainable livestock farming.” One such example is precision livestock farming. It involves the use of digital technology and tools that automate livestock management.
But what is precision livestock farming in the first place?
Precision livestock farming, or PLF, uses technologies that depend on sensors, tracking, collecting information, analysis, and automation. The goal is to improve health and welfare, production, and management. Also, it reduces the impact on the environment.
Now, you know why the livestock sector needs digital services. Below, we will explain the benefits of digitalization in animal farming.
How does the livestock and feed industry leverage new technologies?
Digitalization for livestock management is an effective measure to boost production. Also, it plays a crucial role in protecting animals and the environment. Let us dig into the perks in detail.
- Improved nutritional transparency
Digitalization helps farmers understand whether the livestock gets the appropriate nutrition or not. After all, it is essential for production. It accounts for most of the farmers’ investment. Therefore, feed should help them get the desired return on investment.
In the past, farmers faced challenges in fulfilling the nutritional needs of their herds. The primary issue was detecting the feed raw materials’ quality. They would not find out until the animal’s health or performance was affected. It further resulted in a decrease in production.
Thankfully, digital technology like mobile near-infrared devices allows farmers to monitor the feed raw materials. And they can address the issues at an early stage. How do these devices work?
Firstly, farmers can scan the feed samples using these devices. Once done, they will receive the nutritional information directly on their mobile phones. Compared to traditional methods of assessing feed quality, these devices are quick and less expensive. Hence, farmers can have better control of feed nutritional quality. Based on this, they will predict livestock production and profitability.
- Digitalizing herd management
Thanks to new digital technologies, herd management has become more convenient than ever. With advanced technologies, including drones, IoT, robotics, and location-based services, farmers can perform precision cattle farming. The following are the applications of these tech solutions in herd management.
- Health tracking – IoT-based devices enable farmers to track the health of their livestock. They can keep an eye on unusual behavior or slow performance. Often, there are initial symptoms of illness or disease. In addition, they can predict potential outbreaks and take precautionary steps early.
- Control herd location – In many cases, animals travel large distances while grazing. As a result, they may get lost. To avoid such instances, use digital technologies like GPS tracking. It helps farmers monitor the movements and location of herds in pastures.
- Improved inspections – Visually checking each animal when pasturing is not easy. Therefore, we have drones that make farmers’ lives easier and save time. Using these technological devices, farmers can conduct large-scale inspections. Moreover, drones can be used to collect data on grass and land quality. Thus, they can choose the best and safe grazing spot for their herds.
- Automated farming
As we mentioned, precision livestock farming entails using automated tools to boost production. For example, robots help farmers automate operations. It saves time and resources.
Tasks like milking, shearing, feeding, and others farmers used to perform manually. Besides operational costs, manual livestock farming increases the chances of human errors. Cutting-edge digital technologies can help them manage animal farming hassle-free and without making a hole in their pockets.
- Breeding management
Another benefit of digitalization in livestock farming is determining animals’ Body Composition Score (BCS). It helps farmers understand their breeding period and well-being. For example, we have a mobile phone solution that enables farmers to collect BCS data for a long period. They can further share this data with the veterinarian to ensure better care.
Based on this discussion, we can say that digitalization has opened new opportunities for livestock farmers. Using advanced technologies, they can manage livestock farming effectively. Also, the automated system eliminates manual labor, which reduces operational costs and human errors. If you own an animal farm, it is the right time to take advantage of these digital services and simplify your business processes.
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- What is precision livestock farming?
Precision livestock farming (PLF) is a technique that uses digital solutions to manage herds effectively. Automated monitoring boosts production and improves animal health and well-being.
- What are the benefits of precision animal farming?
There are numerous benefits of using precision techniques to manage livestock. These include:
- Collection of real-time data
- Reduction in manual labor
- Improved production
- Nutritional transparency