The world is evolving and so are humans, farming, and livestock. With each minute that passes by the population is growing rapidly, and there is a lot of pressure to feed people. By 2050 the projected population is over 9 million. Primarily this growth is expected in developing countries. In scenarios like this livestock, culture should come up with improved formats to provide more livestock products.
Not only the production but this should also be concerned with animal welfare, environmental sustainability, and public health. This article discusses the current state of livestock farming and emphasizes digitizing animal agriculture with new technologies, like biometric sensors, big data, and blockchain technology.
Among these biometric sensors include either noninvasive or invasive sensors to monitor the health of individual animals. It keeps a track of health and behaviour in real-time. This helps the farmer to analyze the data for population check. This information is even helpful for big data analysis systems that rely on statistical algorithms.
1. Current Trends
The farming arena has seen major improvements in the last decade. It includes automated feeding systems, milking robots, manure management, and maximizing production efficiency. This is all made possible through instrumentation, animal breeding, genetics, and nutrients.
Even after these improvements, there are various challenges. In this case, we need more precise and intensive livestock farming techniques to meet the increasing demands. However, this confined livestock technique makes it difficult for farmers. This way they can closely monitor.
2. Biometric Sensing
The biometric sensor allows for monitoring behavioural and physiological parameters of livestock. This allows the farmer to evaluate animal health and welfare. Currently, biometric sensors are available in two formats. Either there are invasive sensors or non-invasive sensors.
Non-invasive sensors include surveillance cameras and sensors in the feeding systems to monitor the weight of animals and the type or amount of food they are eating. It also includes pedometers, GPS global positioning systems, and microelectromechanical based activity sensors.
On the other hand, invasive sensors can be seen less commonly. They are typically swallowed by or implanted in an animal. Invasive sensors can be used to monitor internal physiological measures such as body temperature, vaginal pressure in cows, and rumen health.
3. Machine learning and data analysis
Biosensors or biometric sensors can be used to monitor the health and welfare of livestock. A huge amount of data needs to be processed and analyzed to provide meaningful insights for managing animals. The acquisition of large sets of data helps in analyzing various parameters.
- Volume, the amount and size of data
- Velocity, the speed of acquiring the data
- Variety, different forms of data
- Veracity, eliminating unnecessary information, cleaning, and editing the data.
4. Blockchain Technology
A blockchain is a shared database or ledger. With blockchain technology, the pieces of data are stored in data structures known as blocks. Each transaction made on the blockchain creates a node. The blocks are linked after this with unique hash codes to form a chain. Each time a new transaction takes place a new node is created in real-time.
Blockchain technology can benefit livestock farming in several ways. For example decentralized, automated transactions. This way the auditing system can be more efficient for certification, system integration, and organized records of chain transactions. The technology can also improve the transparency between farmers and consumers.
Digitalization of livestock agriculture through blockchain technology could provide solutions for the issues concerning food safety and disease outbreaks as well.
5. Future Needs it
The data being sensed has a greater potential to deliver improvements. Technologies such as big data, sensors, machine learning, and blockchain can be significant factors affecting environmental stability. As the technologies evolve these requirements will keep on growing. As the developing countries expand these requirements will grow huge.
These Precision Livestock farming techniques are requisite environmental conditions and communication infrastructure. However, several things need to be addressed here. It includes moisture, dust, ammonia, and pests.
There is a constantly changing environment surrounding us. The engineers developing these technologies haven’t been personally on the farms. Therefore increased collaboration between farmers, animal scientists, bioengineers, and other professionals will help in the betterment of all.
This will help in increasing production while addressing consumer concerns and welfare.