The digitalisation of agriculture facilitates the collection of data from dairy farmers. This in turn, allows initiatives such as Gigacow, creating an infrastructure for research on precision dairy farming that will help to strengthen Swedish farming and milk production.
Gigacow is organised by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). By creating a platform for data collection, the testbed aims to facilitate the exchange between researchers and farmers in the area of precision dairy farming using genomic breeding and production optimisation.
The testbed has started to build a platform for data collection that can be connected to existing dairy farm systems. Moreover, the platform will be used as a base for projects where new sensors or cameras are connected. Gigacow aims to expand its network to include 20 to 30 dairy farms in Sweden. The testbed will pay for genomic breeding assessment for the animals that are part of the network. This knowledge will be supplemented through automated collection of animal characteristics, feed intake, disseises and other relevant information about the animals’ living conditions.
“Gigacow is designed to continuously collect data from dairy farms. This means that you can be sure that there is information covering the work of the dairy farm before, during and after the study period. Additionally, you can often avoid having to set up your own experiments or networks and instead focus on interpreting and processing already collected data.” says Thomas Klingström, PhD and coordinator of Gigacow.
As part of facilitating the exchange between researchers and farmers, the collected data and the conclusions will be made available to participants in the project. The testbed further plans to organise a meeting or webinar, allowing famers to provide input on what research would be of interest from their perspective.
Natalie Von Der Lehr