Optimising livestock production with precision technology

The Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) is hosting a series of farm visits and workshops across the country looking specifically at the use of technologies and innovations on livestock farms in October and November. The events include a look at precision indoor pig production at Harrogate, Yorkshire, on October 30, and precision outdoor pig production at Diss, Norfolk, on November 6.

Precision livestock farming is a tool that provides continuous automated real-time data to help monitor and manage livestock production and improve individual animal or overall performance. While it’s a term that has become heavily associated with arable production, there’s huge potential for its development in the livestock sector.

“Regardless of the size of operation, the monitoring and measuring of animal behaviour, performance and their environment can help farmers make more informed management decisions leading to increases in production, welfare and on-farm efficiencies,” the RASE’s livestock technical specialist, Charlotte Johnston, said.
 
The Precision Livestock Initiative is a series of events that will demonstrate the latest advances in livestock farming, allowing producers to see first-hand the impact some of these technologies have had on farm businesses. As well as practical case studies, there will be examples of current research and plenty of opportunity for discussion on future innovations.
 
Whether it is through energy savings, early disease indicators, reduced feed costs, improved fertility, increases in welfare or a reduction in labour, there are plenty of ways in which precision livestock farming can improve farm efficiency.
 
The events are being supported by Barclays, where the bank’s national head of agriculture, Martin Redfearn, said he was proud to be working with RASE as a supporter of the Precision Livestock Initiative.
 
“The more successful businesses in UK agriculture have a considerable track record over many years of innovation and early adoption of new technology to enhance their success,” he added. “The pace of change and range of opportunities are unlikely to diminish in the future and we believe it’s vital for all farmers to keep in touch with innovations and understand how they can be applied to their farming businesses to enhance their management and physical and financial performance.”
 
For more information visit: www.precisionlivestock.org.uk

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