NEW SMART technologies for sheep and goat farmers will be showcased at an online farming event later this week.
The Technologies and Digital Solutions for Sheep Farming workshop on Thursday, February 10, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., will highlight innovative technologies adapted to the needs of sheep farmers in terms of feeding, grazing, reproduction, health and herd management.
It takes place within the framework of the [email protected] (Small Ruminant Technologies) project, funded by the European research program Horizon 2020, which brings together a network of British, French, Irish, Norwegian, Estonian, Hungarian, Italian and Israeli researchers, to raise awareness of the new digital tools available.
The first stage of the project, led by Scotland’s Rural College in partnership with the Moredun Research Institute, was to carry out a survey to help researchers understand the key challenges facing farmers and stakeholders, and their need and interest in precision farming (PLF) and digital technologies.
This was followed by national workshops in September and October last year, to gather farmers’ needs in terms of tools and methods that could facilitate their working conditions on the farm.
More than 100 stakeholders, including farmers, advisers and researchers, then gathered at an international conference on October 12 to discuss the needs of farmers in different countries and share practical knowledge in a peer-to-peer knowledge exchange exercise.
Each country and type of production had to offer solutions to the needs of breeders in two other countries, alongside the five main themes of food/grazing, health/well-being, reproduction, herd management and fattening. and milking it.
Read more: [email protected] tools to improve the efficiency of small ruminant farming systems
For the UK, the main needs and solutions identified revolved around the issues of fencing, measuring pastures, early identification of sick animals, identifying animals remotely or automatically and preparing lambs ready for slaughter.
Dr Claire Morgan-Davies of SRUC, project coordinator for [email protected], said: “This bottom-up approach was well received by participants, and it was nice to see many innovative solutions and PLFs coming up from farmers for farmers.
“The next step of the project will be to formalize solutions to identified needs and come up with guidelines and farmer testimonials on how to implement them on farms.”
Dr Fiona Kenyon, from the Moredun Research Institute, added: “This project uses a variety of methods to facilitate the exchange of productive knowledge, and practical information from the ‘digifarms’ and commercial farmers involved in the project. will be useful to farmers in the UK and Europe.”
Those interested in attending the workshop on Thursday February 10 can register at https://bit.ly/32O5VTn