As pork production around the world is ramped up to cater for increased demand, pig housing and technology is also being developed at a fast pace. 2 Speakers at the recent Alltech ONE ideas virtual conference, held June 22-24, focused on their work in these specialist areas. In addition, keynote speakers zoomed in on more general actual themes.
High rise piggeries in China
Yu Ping, founder of Yu’s Design which designs pig farms, discussed China and its growing demand for high rise piggeries. Pork meat is a favoured protein among China’s 1.4 billion population and the country is home to 400 million pigs. Yu said, “My business designs high rise pig farms which includes the pig farm layout, pig house structures, ventilation models, plus environment controls. This design is suitable for all geographic locations and climatic conditions and is now on version 5.”
Smart technology in swine farms
Jon Hoek, president of Summit Smart Farms, USA, delved into the big wide world of farm technology looking to what the future holds. He said: “We have tremendous technology and controllers; we have data coming in more than what we know what to do with. When I talk to producers they say, I just love my controller, but it just locks me up. I don’t know what to do with it. So it creates a poverty of attention, and attention equals margin.”
Hoek added: “What we‘re really talking about today in digital transformation is kind of reinventing how we raise pigs.”
Hoek said that in 2020 during Covid-19, Flexware and Summit came together to bring digital transformation to protein production. In 2021 Acumence SM was born and soft-launched in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana.
Hoek said, “And so our purpose was really to demonstrate something that is in the field today. We have real-time mortality reporting. We‘ve narrowed the gap from 7 to 10 days down to real time. Barn visibility is something where it creates the visibility to the barn, creates the environmental visibility. But it doesn’t necessarily give you actionable items.”
“Today we see a lot of sensor companies being born. We see a lot of barn visibility companies being born. And the race to analytics is really where everybody’s headed. And taking that data from the inside of barns and converting it into contextualised data will be the important thing for adoption of some of the smart technology for big production.”
Farmers can be the saviours of Mother Earth
Mother Earth is currently under a great deal of pressure feeling the pain of billions of inhabitants going about their daily lives sometimes with complete disregard to the damage they are causing.