4 guest speakers showcased smart farming technology at the Proagrica Future Farming Theatre at the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture, held in conjunction with VIV Europe in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
What separates smart farmers from the rest?
There’s no shortage of innovative tools that detect and gather on-farm data. Having access to so much information, however, can leave farmers feeling overwhelmed. What separates smart farmers from the rest is the fact that they don’t simply collect data. Smart farmers learn how to use the data they collect to improve production, animal health and welfare.
Smart farming and mycotoxins:
Mycotoxin prediction tools
One of the big risks pig farmers face today is the risk of mycotoxocosis from contaminated feed. In livestock production, pigs are the most sensitive animals to mycotoxin contamination. Olga Averkieva, business development manager at Nutriad, Belgium, explained the risk, offered insight into the available prediction tools, and informed visitors about MycoMan, a smartphone application that helps producers manage the negative effects of moulds and mycotoxins.
Early mycotoxin detection tools
The problem with mycotoxins, said Ms Averkieva, is that most acute cases cannot be detected, except in the case of zearalenone. The biggest mycotoxin-related losses come from subclinical cases. Early detection tools and preventative measures can help lower that risk, though, she said.
Contributing factors to mycotoxin formation in the field
Rains during crop growth
Early mycotoxin detection tools include mycotoxin prediction models like:
Mycotoxin surveys in harvested grain.
Olga Averkieva, business development manager at Nutriad
The problem with pre-harvest models is that they only provide 30–50% certainty, said Ms Averkieva. Screening grains during harvest should support pre-harvest models.
Rapid test for mycotoxin detection
Ms Averkieva pointed to 2 rapid tests for mycotoxin detection.
Melanie EppFreelance agricultural journalist from Ontario, Canada