A new smart technology project, called SmartFarm, is being developed in Finland by the VTT Technical Research Centre and the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) to aid the productivity and quality of dairy farming.
The quality of dairy production is a key concern in SmartFarm. VTT said that optical measurement technologies, telecommunications and digitalisation will be used to make milk and feed quality measurements a routine in dairy farms. The real-time measurements will enhance productivity for farmers, as this function will allow them to control feed accordingly as soon as it is necessary for their livestock to produce high-quality milk.
Matti Pastell, project manager from Luke, said: “Continuous data on the composition of milk and silage offers possibilities to improve productivity with the help of feeding control and input-output optimisation. In addition, the farm-specific measurement of milk fat and protein contents that fulfils output control requirements could replace at least some laboratory samples.”
The SmartFarm project also has the potential for collaborative farming methods, as the shared use of data can allow farmers to learn from one another and use new ways of feeding and taking care of livestock in order to produce the best dairy in the most efficient way possible.
Mikko Utriainen, project manager from VTT, commented: “Today, dairy farms need immediate, quick, real-time, reliable data on the quality of milk and silage, which has been scarcely available so far.”
The technology can also reduce farming costs, as problems in production can immediately be attended to without wasting time or money on the wrong type of feed.
The solutions will be tested in practice at the Luke pilot farm this and next year.
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