Smart Farming and Robotics in Livestock Farming Systems

Smart Farming is a management strategy that gathers, processes and analyses temporal, spatial and individual data and combines it with other information to guide site, plant or animal specific management decisions to improve resource efficiency, productivity, quality, profitability and sustainability of agricultural production. In practice comparable concept for Smart Farming are called Precision Agriculture when it deals more with plants and soil processes and Precision Livestock Farming when it deals with animal specific management support.

To really take care of differences between animals, herds and farms the statement ‘As dairy farmer I will guarantee that every cow/calf/parcel gets the care it requires at the right moment, in the right place, and to the right extent, and I want to be transparent in this’ is used as metaphor. Farmers who want to integrate this in their farming system have the option to do that together with family, co-workers, service providers and robots.

Expertise on livestock

Wageningen Livestock Research is one of the specialised research institutes within Wageningen University and Research. Our researchers are based in groups specialised in better animal health and welfare, improved breeding and genomics, efficient animal nutrition and improvement of livestock environments through reduction of greenhouse gasses and introduction of new farming systems that fit to regional preferences. We have some specialised research facilities like ‘Dairy Campus Innovation centre’.

We have specific expertise on:

  • Data analytics for multi-variate dynamic modelling and big data analyses based on statistical and AI techniques (Early warning, benchmarking)
  • Sensing animal specific behaviour of individuals and groups in a variety of farming systems (Monitoring, phenomics)
  • Decision support principles for a variety of management decisions to be integrated in farming systems (DSS & SOP’s for feeding, insemination, treatment, cleaning, sorting, replacement)
  • Insight in data infrastructures and innovation strategies
  • New expertise on robotics in livestock farming systems

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