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Precision Livestock Farming

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Precision Livestock Farming

Precision Livestock Farming
August 21
14:34 2019

Over 250 delegates from 29 countries will be in Cork next week to attend the European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming (ECPLF). The conference is attracting delegates nationally and internationally and will take place in Cork from August 26-29.

This is the 9th meeting, and the first time that the conference is held in Ireland. Teagasc are the main organisers of ECPLF 2019 which is taking place at University College Cork. Over 135 scientific papers will be presented, including 90 oral presentations and 45 poster presentations, during concurrent sessions over the Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday (27th and 28th August).

Chair of the Organising Committee, Dr Bernadette O’Brien, Teagasc, said: “The conference will centre on Smart Technology and Big Data in Livestock Farming.  Technology is playing an increasing role in agriculture and this conference will examine the role of incorporating smart technology into sustainable livestock production systems, as well as harvesting big data reservoirs to enhance resource management and underpin claims made about products.  The conference will offer delegates a first-hand opportunity to consider precision technologies in dairy, beef, sheep, poultry and pig production.”

The conference is supported by Dairymaster, Zoetis, Soundtalks, Teagasc, RoMain, Farm Control, DAFM, Cork County Council, UCC, Fáilte Ireland and Cork Convention Bureau.

The focus on technology use in agriculture is becoming embedded in policy. One of the main features of the EU Commission’s proposals for CAP 2020 is ‘Greater use of knowledge and innovation’. The CAP is to include a budget of €10 billion from the EU’s Horizon Europe research programme set aside for research and innovation projects in food, agriculture, rural development and bioeconomy. Member states will be encouraged to use big data and new technologies for control and monitoring of different aspects of the production system. Countries are also expected to step up the digitization of rural life.

Speaking in advance of the 4 day International Conference, Professor Gerry Boyle, Teagasc Director said: “Specific focus within the conference will centre on the data and how to add value to it as well as discussing how the data can be monetised for the different stakeholders along the value chain. Different business models, both within and outside of agriculture, will be discussed to outline a pathway for agricultural data to accommodate farmers, technology providers, industry and government.”

There will be a farmer/end user testimonial session to discuss precision technologies and their impact on farming life across dairy, sheep and poultry farms. Key outputs will focus on what technology/services that work well, what needs improvement and what doesn’t work at all. The experiences of actual farmers on the ground will be presented.

The conference will also incorporate:

  • A networking event involving a ‘Soap Box’ platform where selected sponsors present the highlights of their company.  This event will include a question and answer session and discussion; and engagement with the individual companies at their stalls/booths
  • An Industry Forum will focus on industry and stakeholder interests with a panel discussion. This Industry Forum will give a particular opportunity to technology companies to showcase their thinking and approach to future technologies and where they can fit into future farming systems. International and national speakers will provide an overview of the role of precision technology in the pharma and dairy industries together with the future vision for precision technologies in livestock production systems
  • A Farmer Workshop which will investigate the needs of the industry from a production (farmer) viewpoint in conjunction with the technological solutions available. The considered view on the use of technologies on farms, factors impeding and accelerating farmer uptake of technologies and identifying what needs to be put in place to allow progress of precision farming within farming communities will be presented by dairy, sheep and poultry farmers
  • A Business Models Seminar on Wednesday morning (28thAugust) will focus on the framework required to promote the development and use of technologies, data integration associated with different livestock farming systems as well as providing examples from outside of agriculture. Presentations will be given by Microsoft and ICBF personnel
  • The conference has sessions focusing on Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) data and its exploitation for solutions and decision-making; PLF technology for sheep; PLF sensing and monitoring techniques for dairy animals; PLF technology for grassland management; PLF technology for milking of dairy animals; PLF product development, optimization and testing in field conditions; Monitoring animal health and behaviour; Performance and welfare of dairy animals; Controlling environment for poultry systems; Location and tracking of animal movement; and PLF technology for pigs

On the Thursday, delegates will embark on a choice of technical tours. One tour will travel to Teagasc, Moorepark where delegates can experience at first hand the technologies, tools and measurements in research and on farm. Other technical tours will visit Dairymaster headquarters in Ireland, internationally recognized as a leader in manufacturing superior hi-tech dairy equipment, and also the Research Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy.

For more information visit

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