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€2m Artificial Intelligence Project To Reduce Workload On Farms

A new €2m Research & Development project in Artificial Intelligence aimed at reducing the workload on farms has been announced.

The programme was launched earlier today by Irish dairy equipment manufacturer Dairymaster and is in association with IT Tralee and software research centre Lero. It is backed by Science Foundation Ireland.

As part of the project, Lero and Dairymaster will look to develop autonomous systems to ease the workload on the dairy farm.

Furthermore, the development of Internet of Things technology to boost milk quality and animal health will be included in the R&D programme. This will involve the application of advanced data analytics to boost dairy farm productivity combining existing Dairymaster equipment such as MooMonitor+ health and fertility monitoring system with data from new sensors and monitoring technology.

This will utilise data analytics and machine learning to automatically generate predictors and classifiers for dairy cow health and productivity.

The goal will be to help automate the management of the farm itself, providing the farmer with not just a set of metrics, but with tangible advice and recommendations on the key decisions needed to boost productivity.

“The availability of skilled labour has been identified as one of the key challenges to the dairy industry,” said Dr Joseph Walsh, Head of the School of STEM and Lero researcher at IT Tralee.

“Automating labour intensive processes will not only be hugely beneficial to the farmer but will also enhance animal health and milk quality by ensuring tasks are completed to consistently high levels,” he continued.

Dr John Daly, Research and Innovation Manager of Dairymaster said:

“We see this whole area of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems as being key to the future of dairy farm profitability and sustainability and we are delighted to be involved in the largest indigenous project in Lero.” 

The author: Nick Fitzgerald