Connecterra’s flagship product Ida was featured on CBS online. Ida was mentioned in an article that delved deeper in how artificial intelligence could revolutionise the farming industry.
In the article, the authors talked to Richard Watson of Seven Oak Dairy Farm in Georgia. He is testing out a new technology called Ida on 200 of his 2,000 dairy cows. Ida uses TensorFlow, Google’s AI software. The data for Ida is generated from collars the cows wear. It can detect when a cow is eating, drinking, ruminating, sleeping and walking. All of those data points are digested by Ida and TensorFlow to give the farmer a readout of where his cows are, health-wise.
Saving massive amounts of time
When we visited Watson’s farm, he found three of his cows were targeted by the app for showing signs that they were sick, and one was possibly in heat. He said the app saves him a massive amount of time. “We would like for heat detection, for example, literally, we would have to go through all 2,000 cows on a daily basis and check each one individually,” Watson said.
But Watson recognises the app is not a replacement for him and his workers. “Technology doesn’t compensate for poor farming,” he emphasised. “At the end of the day, you still gotta be a good farmer. What the technology enables you to do is become a more efficient — perhaps diagnose things quicker. And — and treat things quicker. And that’s more important when you have several thousand animals.”
Less farmers, more cows
In the article, Watson noted that there has been a major decrease in the number of dairy farmers in the U.S.; in 20 years they’ve dropped by almost 50 percent, but the number of dairy cows remains steady. That means that there are more cows per farmer, which makes it harder to keep track of cows and if they become sick.
Read the full article here.