How Artificial Intelligence is reshaping Agriculture
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a key facet in our daily lives – from smartphones, equipped with tools such as facial recognition and automated text translation, to more sophisticated devices like Amazon’s Alexa and even self-driving cars, AI is slowly but surely making our tasks a little faster and easier every day.
Likewise, many dairy farmers already hold AI in the palms of their hands, as their farms utilise machine learning across familiar agritech systems like robotic milking, behaviour-detecting devices and traceability tools.
As the global population continues to increase, AI will help our dairy farms to keep pace with demand and continue to evolve. But how is this happening?
Current Trends in Agricultural AI
We currently sit on the brink of a new farming revolution, with digital agriculture paving the way for a whole new approach to food and animal production. Devices such as locomotion sensors and image cameras will gather continuous information on individual animals. This will allow real-time monitoring of herds for disease surveillance and timely intervention.
Animal welfare is a big concern for many farmers – and has long been a key talking point for consumers as well. That’s why there has been a major push for a more conscientious approach towards dairy farming – something that artificial intelligence can make a big difference with. It’s well-known that healthier cows produce more milk over time, so utilising AI to perform mass-inspections on livestock and alert farmers of illness or other problems can save a lot of time and allow issues to be addressed much sooner. In addition, meticulous mining of operational data information from farm software, together with performance information (milk yield, disease incidence, feed intake etc.) as well as other sources of data (weather conditions, economic variables, among others) will provide guidance for continuous improvement of management practices and data-driven decisions.
What Are the Next Steps?
Another looming concern for a lot of dairy farmers is the ever-growing workforce shortage across the industry. Luckily, AI in agritech can replace many of the roles that were once necessary to hire out, allowing farmers to continue thriving. This is the ‘umbrella benefit’ that AI offers, as it will become increasingly important for dairy farmers to tend to key aspects of their livestock and output rather than splitting hairs over menial tasks that can now be handled by smart machines.
The next step would then be to introduce machine-learning tools that combine computer-based algorithms and statistical analysis models, and then use these patterns to perform a specific task.
One such menial task, for example, could be watching the power bill; every Canadian dairy farm must go through a yearly energy audit, but by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, you can gather the data you need much more efficiently and do so all-year ‘round – letting you identify weak points in your energy use and come up with solutions to save so you can keep your budget focussed on the more important stuff.
The NeatMeter by Rakr monitors energy use across every machine on the farm to help you achieve this. To find out more, click here.
The rapid growth of AI in farming can be an intimidating prospect, but we believe in the power of machine learning and how AI can improve a farm. At the end of the day, technology is not here to take the humanity out of Canadian agriculture, but rather to elevate our farms and help us provide more to consumers and maintain the health of our expanding enterprises as the population of the world continues to rise.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of artificial intelligence on dairy farms or discuss how the NeatMeter can work for you, book in a call or meeting with us any time.