What is EIP AGRI?
The agricultural European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI) was launched by the European Commission in 2012. The formation of so-called “operational groups” (OG) in several projects forms the cornerstone for innovative implementations and is intended to promote exchange between farmers, scientists and other interested parties. For the implementation of a project in the Free State of Saxony, an OG must comprise at least two independent actors and be based in Saxony.
Further information can be found here.
The real-world challenges that motivated us to create Feed 4.0
Feeding has a paramount influence on animal welfare and performance as well as on the carbon footprint of dairy production. There are numerous demands on the feeding of a modern dairy cow in terms of health, performance, nutrient cycling, climate change and economics. Feed is a natural product and therefore available in different qualities and finite quantities. Thus, dairy farmers, together with feeding advisors, have to balance the feeding of the animals very precisely. Weather extremes are increasingly tightening the availability of feed. It is therefore essential to find new ways for farms to evaluate available feeds and combine them in the best possible way to optimize animal welfare, climate footprint and profitability in the long term.
Existing web platforms for trading basic feeds are an important first step. However, intelligent further development of these marketplaces is needed so that farmers can take account of the multitude of requirements in on-farm feed purchasing and obtain a quick overview of suitable options for their current farm situation and ration.
The solution idea: A digital feed purchasing assistant
By participating in the “FEED 4.0” project, the aim is to improve resource efficiency in dairy farming through artificial intelligence in feed purchasing by farms.Thus, farms are to be digitally supported in making optimal purchasing decisions for feed on an individual farm basis and the existing web platforms are to be linked to the planned, digital prototype.
The platform planned by OG is based on the Industry 4.0 approach. In concrete terms, this means that it is not the farmers or advisors themselves who search the online offering for suitable feeds, but rather a special search algorithm that automatically takes over this task more quickly and much more comprehensively. Users weight their requirements for the feed ration. The search algorithm then automatically suggests a suitable feed including a recommendation for specific use within the feed ration, optimized according to the objectives. This search algorithm acts as an assistant. Ultimately, farmers and advisors decide which suggestion to choose and then adjust the ration if necessary. Both target groups of the system are to be involved in the development process of the software prototype at an early stage.
The project partners
- fodjan GmbH: Project management and coordination of the OG as well as development of the software prototype and deployment of the platform.
- Agrarberatung Koesling Anderson – Agricultural consulting: Support in the connection of the feed industry as well as in the concrete integration of the suggestions into the ration calculation matrix.
- Luchbergmilch eG – Agrarunternehmen Starbach-Sachsen eG – Agribusiness: Execution of the operational tests of the prototypes in cooperation with fodjan.
- Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Dresden – University of Applied Sciences: Scientific monitoring of the project.