Fonterra has signed a deal with Dutch company Connecterra to provide dairy farmers with insights using artificial intelligence.
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SUPPLIED Connecterra’s Intelligent Dairy Assistant platform combines behavioural data collected via collar-mounted sensors with data from farm equipment connected to the internet to produce insights for farmers.

Fonterra has signed a deal with Dutch company Connecterra to provide dairy farmers with insights using artificial intelligence.

The agreement will give farmers access to Connecterra’s intelligent dairy assistant platform (Ida), which collects behavioural data from cows using collar-mounted sensors and combines it with data from internet-connected systems and equipment on-farm.

Ida then uses artificial intelligence to translate the data into real-time, easy-to-understand insights in the app. The feedback was processed using machine learning, allowing Ida to become smarter and more personalised for each farm over time, Connecterra chief executive Yasir Khokhar​ said.

The technology will be sold through Fonterra’s retail division, Farm Source.

The technology was trialled over two years at South Waikato split calving farm Cloverlea.

Owner Chris Poole​ said the technology could be a game-changer for Kiwi farmers.

“Ida’s technology is different. She learns you and your farm. It’s easy to see the difference in our in-calf rates and animal health. There is so much potential for other farms in New Zealand.”

The nationwide rollout began in the South Waikato in August, and was used during mating season in October. Farmers were already using Ida to detect heat and drafting for insemination, Khokhar​ said.

“Our goal is to empower farmers globally to increase productivity while reducing the impact of farming on the planet. After seeing strong, positive results during the pilot, we’re pleased to see Ida technology scale across New Zealand,” he said.

Director of Farm Source Richard Allen​ says Connecterra will be available by the end of the year.
SUPPLIED Director of Farm Source Richard Allen​ says Connecterra will be available by the end of the year.

Farm Source group director Richard Allen​ said alongside Connecterra, it also offered soil and water management technology and effluence management.

It also recently provided a Farm Insights report to all Fonterra farmers, to provide information on more sustainable farming practices.

“The reports provide individual farm GHG emissions profiles, nitrogen risk scorecards, insights on somatic cell count, milking efficiency, heat stress, lameness and mastitis, as well as information on the farm’s performance.”

Connecterra would be available by the end of the year, he said.

Jerry Dakin’s cows have produced milk that helped feed families across the state for decades. Now, the longtime Manatee County dairyman has been recognized as Florida’s Farmer of the Year.

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