Dr Sadie Douglas (pictured above centre) has joined Reading-based Farmex as data services manager. The appointment marks an expansion of the company’s pioneering information technology services to pig farmers.
“There has been a noticeable increase of interest in real-time monitoring on farms,” Farmex managing director Hugh Crabtree said. “Information communication technology (ICT) systems, such as our Guardian Action, are very sophisticated and we recognise that specialist help is required to get the maximum value from them.”
Farmex has been investing in the training of young people in this area with under-graduate placements, Ben Bethell (left) and Oliver Wilson-Wynn, from Harper Adams University, have both been offered 12-month placements with the company. Mr Bethell is just completing his year, while Mr Wilson-Wynn is just starting.
Ms Douglas gained her PhD in Agricultural Science at Newcastle University – having previously achieved an MSc and BSc at the Royal Veterinary College – before becoming a research assistant.
Farmex, in co-operation with ARM Buildings Ltd, Staffordshire, and Dicam Technology Ltd, Suffolk, has developed a growth sensor that gives accurate information on growth dates in real-time and this, along with detailed environmental data, is giving producers significant commercial and welfare benefits as the industry moves towards precision farming.
“Even after 75 years of intensive pig production, we’re barely scraping the surface of the pig’s genetic potential,” Mr Crabtree added. “There are really exciting opportunities to help prime producers to improve their business performance while reducing the impact on the environment.”