Artificial intelligence  gets you ahead of the herd.

March 17, 2022

Artificial intelligence gets you ahead of the herd.

As a dairy farmer you know more than a thing or two about raising dairy cows. With 264 million dairy cows worldwide, producing nearly 600 million tonnes of milk every year it’s no surprise those on th

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Dreaming of the ideal dairy barn.

Of course when it comes to animal housing there’s some form of system control in place. Typically a control panel is installed on a wall near the entrance and various equipment is connected through a maze of wires. Your manager is then responsible for keeping the air flowing by manually checking the number of fans, switching them on or off, adjusting curtains, and opening vents, for example.

It seemed natural to us at Ventec to ask the following questions. How could we improve the control system once your ventilation was set up? With so many variables affecting temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels how could we assure adequate fresh air 24/7? That’s pretty much how we set to dreaming about our ideal barn control system.

A barn that would be a model of efficiency.

A barn able to ensure cool air in the summer, warmth in the winter, and be clean, airy and comfortable for your animals.

A barn that would be cost effective.

The kind of barn a farmer would be proud of.

AI, more than a breath of fresh air.

Here are a few of the decisions managers have to make on a regular basis while trying to avoid high fuel bills and poor ventilation performance.

  • Keeping the right number of vent doors opened properly.
  • Maintaining the correct number of fans and vents to bring all incoming air through the barn.
  • Ensuring fan on-off cycling times to maintain proper air quality.

Imagine a system that could do all this automatically based on the parameters for your barn. Any abnormalities would be instantly detected, and your ventilation equipment would be adjusted. Now imagine a system capable of learning, implementing solutions, evaluating their effectiveness and then improving upon them.

So far, this sounds like having your best manager on duty 24/7, one who knows your system thoroughly, makes exact calculations, and never lets anything slip through the cracks. At Ventec, all this has become a reality and we can now offer farmers exactly what we wished for in our ideal barn.

Why adjust when you can prevent.

The great advantage of A.I. and machine learning is that the system is capable of going several steps beyond what we’ve described so far and is able to predict problems before they arise.

If a piece of equipment is not functioning at its best, you’ll get a warning, so you know what has to be done to prevent equipment failure, ensuring significant savings. To keep costs further within control, fans can be switched off, curtains opened, and vents adjusted for the most economical way of maintaining your ventilation.

Another plus, you don’t have to be constantly retraining employees. Instead, everything is handled from an app on your manager’s phone

How does the smart barn work smart exactly?

Basically, this is how A.I. breaks down. Microprocessors are installed on every piece of equipment, so they are connected, creating a local network. Sensors in the microprocessors pick up data, which is communicated within the network, but each sensor can also make decisions independently. A mastermind hub then converts raw data into meaningful information to act as a dairy decision tool, updated in real time, through a wireless mesh, with the data stored in a cloud.

Any added equipment, such as a new fan, heater, lighting etc. is integrated into your ventilation ecosystem. No worries about intermittent wi-fi signals either because all devices connect with a 900mhz Mesh topology radio with a feedback interval of 50 milliseconds. Essentially, your system is more reliable than Bluetooth or regular wi-fi.

With all this high tech wizardry, we haven’t lost sight of our first concern and yours, the animals.  Along with heating and ventilation, the fertility, health drinking and feeding habits

of your livestock can be tracked, giving accurate information on their health. You can now intervene before health problems arise. Weather predictions are also made so your entire system can start adjusting before the heat or cold snap arrives.

Add it all up and farmers get increased efficiency, lower costs and more time to work on improvements elsewhere. At the end of the day, all the high tech data in the world is useless unless you can help farmers, farm better.

At Ventec, we’re proud to supply Agrimesh Artificial Intelligence. Consider this our way of ensuring you stay ahead of the heard.