Publications

ASAS-NANP Symposium: Mathematical Modeling in Animal Nutrition: Opportunities and challenges of confined and extensive precision livestock production

Menendez, Hector M.; Brennan, Jameson R.; Gaillard, Charlotte; Ehlert, Krista; Quintana, Jaelyn; Neethirajan, Suresh; Remus, Aline; Jacobs, Marc; Teixeira, Izabelle A.M.A.; Turner, Benjamin L.; Tedeschi, Luis O.

Summary

Modern animal scientists, industry, and managers have never faced a more complex world. Precision livestock technologies have altered management in confined operations to meet production, environmental, and consumer goals. Applications of precision technologies have been limited in extensive systems such as rangelands due to lack of infrastructure, electrical power, communication, and durability. However, advancements in technology have helped to overcome many of these challenges. Investment in precision technologies is growing within the livestock sector, requiring the need to assess opportunities and challenges associated with implementation to enhance livestock production systems. In this review, precision livestock farming and digital livestock farming are explained in the context of a logical and iterative five-step process to successfully integrate precision livestock measurement and management tools, emphasizing the need for precision system models (PSMs). This five-step process acts as a guide to realize anticipated benefits from precision technologies and avoid unintended consequences. Consequently, the synthesis of precision livestock and modeling examples and key case studies help highlight past challenges and current opportunities within confined and extensive systems. Successfully developing PSM requires appropriate model(s) selection that aligns with desired management goals and precision technology capabilities. Therefore, it is imperative to consider the entire system to ensure that precision technology integration achieves desired goals while remaining economically and managerially sustainable. Achieving long-Term success using precision technology requires the next generation of animal scientists to obtain additional skills to keep up with the rapid pace of technology innovation. Building workforce capacity and synergistic relationships between research, industry, and managers will be critical. As the process of precision technology adoption continues in more challenging and harsh, extensive systems, it is likely that confined operations will benefit from required advances in precision technology and PSMs, ultimately strengthening the benefits from precision technology to achieve short-and long-Term goals.