£300,000 precision pig farming project launched by industry consortium

A £300,000 precision pig farming project, designed to improve the efficiency of UK pig production, has been launched by a consortium of farmers, vets, nutritionists, buildings specialists and technologists.

The project is geared to look at how harvesting ‘real time’ information direct from the piggery can lead to “more accurate and relevant decision-making and management changes”.

“The objective is to commercially pilot the Barn Report Pro system which captures ‘live’ on-farm data enabling cash-saving management decisions to be made rapidly rather than retrospectively,” said Farmex managing director, Hugh Crabtree, one of the prime-movers behind the project.

As part of project, farmers are using monitoring systems, including in-pen growth sensors, to beam data direct to their farm computer. It’s claimed this helps identify specific areas where efficiency can be improved such as energy use, reduced water waste, improved feed conversion and intake, and temperature control.

Monitoring will also alert farmers of any failures of feed or water delivery systems.

Funding is being supported by a 40% grant from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

The project is being led by Farmex’s Dr Sadie Douglas while the consortium consists of D C & R J Allen & Partners, ARM Buildings, Farmex, Garth Pig Practice, J M Sankey, D A & E M Skinner, Stockcroft and Yorkwold Pigpro. Additional support is provided by sub-contractors Primary Diets and Dicam Technology.

Headline image shows Dr Douglas with Aberdeenshire farmer, Danny Skinner, one of the participants in the project.

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