The need to expand agriculture production in a way that generates more food for an ever-growing and demanding population, is being felt all over the world. This strong demand, however, is at loggerheads with the global concern about diminishing and disappearing natural resources such as land and water. In addition, nowadays, perhaps more than ever before, consumers are giving more importance to the conditions that animals for human consumption are kept in, so much so that animal welfare is now a significant deciding factor in consumption patterns.
Whilst all these issues compete for attention, traditional methods of livestock and farm management struggle to keep up. Traditionally, everything on a farm was done manually or with some degree of human intervention – from monitoring livestock health and welfare to optimising a farm’s ecosystem – traditional farmers depended on physical walkabouts, visual observation, and human intercession for almost everything. All this made any farm’s operation vastly inefficient, time-consuming, and highly subject to human error.
Melita.io has recently embarked on a new technology that offers a solution that addresses all these concerns.
The new solution uses the Internet of Things (IoT) to help farmers remotely monitor various aspects of their farm from a central location, thus doing away with physical checks and walkabouts of their farm. The technology enables farmers to keep track of their livestock’s location, automate certain functions such as feeds, cleaning requirements, and lighting and temperature levels. The technology can also be used to monitor livestock health and well-being, all from a single location. Ultimately the information enables farmers to optimise their operation and execute data-driven decisions in a timely manner.
IoT livestock monitoring from Melita.io uses smart sensors that are either installed around a farm, worn by the livestock in the form of electronic bands, or ingested by cows and other big animals to monitor internal vitals. The sensors read information such as the level of ammonia in a farm’s atmosphere, an animal’s heart rate and blood pressure, temperature and lighting levels in chicken farms, herd movement, reproductive cycle data, and other important information. All this is sent in real-time to an IoT platform where farmers can make data-driven decisions on the spot. This increases the quality of life and life cycle of livestock and avoids farmers having to make crucial decisions based on gut feelings and experience.
By transmitting data through Melita’s LoRaWan or Narrowband (NB-IoT) Network, the sensors require very little power, which means that they last a very long time without requiring a battery replacement. They can also transmit information from the most remote locations and secluded environments.
Whilst the most immediate advantage of IoT livestock management is that real-time alerts help increase a farm’s efficiency, in the long run, reading and analysing the data allows the farmer to make long-term decisions on the operational management of the farm. Once such data is available it can be used to automate certain functions such as lighting and temperature levels, feeding and cleaning.
All this is beneficial not only to the farmer in reduced operational costs and optimisedproductivity but also to the end consumer who, thanks to the technology, will end up with a better-quality product. Finally, it is also beneficial to the animals’ welfare which remains one of the fastest-growing concerns among consumers. To learn more about how melita.io can help your business take advantage of the power of the Internet of Things, contact us