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Research Call

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DAFM Award

ICT AGRI ERANET Call 2012 13/RD/ICT-AGRI/1 UCD €225,000

Project Title:


Project Coordinator:

Prof. Nick Holden

Project Abstract

In this project we will develop an evaluation platform that demonstrates through research the potential for an Internet of Things (IoT) enabled FMIS with animal-centric ICT, production databases & best practice standards to assist farmers optimize sustainable livestock production. In this respect SILF will take an integrated approach to solving issues with environmental impact and animal welfare during livestock production. Previously developed smart farming sensing systems for lameness detection in dairy production will be “robustified”, validated and evaluated against other available systems in different member states. The commercial/environmental benefit of these systems along with 'object-connected ICT' will be realized through specific business-models and lifecycle costing for farming systems. To entice innovation adoption these benefits will be disseminated through different means, e.g. through the use of a virtual farm simulator. To meet the growing appetite for meat and livestock derived products livestock farms across Europe are increasing in size. Therefore farmers must find greater integration of ICT into their production processes so that their farming knowledge can be exploited to better effect. SILF will demonstrate the benefits of integrating different information streams for supporting efficient dairy production. It will also develop know-how on user requirements for practical lameness detection system development through real-farm application, validation and “rubustification” and evaluation of these systems in Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Ireland. It will ease the entry into technology adoption by using virtual farm simulator as a means of dissemination. The impact of the project will be a significant step towards realistic possibility for livestock farmers to integrate object-connected ICT for improvement of sustainable production with improved animal welfare and commercial throughput. As Irish agriculture is so dependent on livestock production systems and products, this project is of great significance. Current national policy, found in Food Harvest 2020 specifies a requirement for Ireland to build on its green credentials through “SMART GREEN GROWTH” based technologies. This project directly focuses on this objective through the demonstration of the technical basis of IoT for sensor based data acquisition on farm (SMART), improved efficiency of farm management (GREEN) needed to increase productivity (GROWTH) in line with the target (50% increase in milk production) with minimal environmental consequences.

Final Report:

13 ICT 1 SILF Final Report (pdf 381Kb)