Putting Edge Computing Technology to Work on a Dairy Operation
How On-site Processing of Data is Creating Opportunities for Dairy Farms
Today, dairy producers are efficiently generating higher milk yields with fewer cows and resources. The increasing demand for dairy products and the need for reduced resource usage and environmental impact emphasizes the critical need for producers to prioritize and enhance farm efficiency – ultimately achieving more output with fewer inputs.
Thankfully, developments in technology built for the dairy industry provide new tools and processes to assist farmers in monitoring and managing dairy herds.
That’s where edge computing technology is making huge strides in streamlining farm management by collecting, processing and analyzing data insights locally, in real time.
What is edge computing technology?
Simply put, edge computing captures, stores, processes, and analyzes data near where it is created. Knowing this, you can now assume the benefits of this capability for dairies – from capturing real-time analytics to reduced latency, resulting in lower use of bandwidth and network resources.
Let’s look at the opportunities with edge computing technology and what it means for people managing dairy farms today.
No Internet Bandwidth? No Problem
If you live outside a metro area, you know too well that broadband connectivity is taking its sweet old time in reaching rural areas. Because of this, dairies often struggle with managing day-to-day tasks with minimal internet connectivity.
Taking a closer look, though, it’s not the internet bandwidth that affects the efficacy of technology. It ultimately comes down to processing capabilities.
Edge computing technology is unique in that it processes all the data captured from monitoring tools on-site versus the cloud. Whether your collection devices are sensors or cameras, edge computing is the key to collecting all the data, processing it on-site, and uploading only the essential insights to the server. What’s the difference? We’re talking kilobytes versus terabytes of information. That’s a big lift off your network.
Get Data Faster for Those Oh So Important Decisions
Quick decisions are made on the farm daily; ideally, you don’t make every decision on a gut instinct. When the right decision can mean the difference between delivering a healthy calf or catching a cow off-feed, it’s essential to have all the data – immediately.
But don’t overwhelm yourself with so much data. Instead, capture those critical insights in real-time so you can make the right decisions at the right time.
Edge computing technology allows access to essential data and aggregates it with other data sources. Data are just data until you connect it with other outcome data – milk production information, herd management data, and more. By aggregating all the farm management information, you will find key metrics that lead to making the best decision for your dairy operation. You shouldn’t always need to trust your gut when it comes to important business decisions.
Act or Recommend: Now You Have the Option
The labor market is tight, so when you have a good team working for you, you need to maximize their time and tasks. But when your dairy operates 24/7, it’s difficult to sort through what herd management protocols need to be changed immediately or monitored for future adjustments.
The slightest adjustments in milking times, holding pen time, herd health, feed, and push-up intervals can significantly affect your herd.
With the immediate processing capabilities of edge computing technology, producers can gather meaningful information from digital images, videos, and other visual inputs. From there, you can take immediate action or pinpoint future recommendations based on the information gathered.
Gather Key Insights for Your Dairy
Just because your farm doesn’t have sufficient internet bandwidth doesn’t mean you can’t have the latest industry tools that can assist in monitoring and managing dairy herds.
If collecting and analyzing animal nutrition and welfare insights is key to successfully operating your dairy, Cainthus is an AI computer vision solution designed to observe your herd’s nutritional, behavioral, health, and environmental activities that impact milk production.
Real life scenario:
16384 Kb/s * 2419200 (seconds in a month) * 70 (cameras at grotegut) / 8 (bits to a byte) = 346816512000 KB ~ 346 TB of video