A new survey has been launched to collect new information that will be used to identify key areas for the use of agri-tech to improve productivity, efficiency and sustainability for beef and sheep production.
Agri-tech allows for continuous and automatic monitoring of production parameters, environmental impact, animal health and welfare. For example, increased monitoring of animals through animal mounted sensors allows for poorly performing animals to be identified sooner. However, there are barriers to introducing agro-tech solutions, such as upfront costs. Uptake on beef and sheep farms has been limited.
The potential benefits associated with the use of agri-tech in beef and sheep production systems are far reaching. This includes improved animal health and welfare, reduction in the use of antimicrobials and/or anthelmintics, reduced treatment costs, reduced labour requirements, and increased productivity, and product quality all with a lower environmental impact.
The data will be used as part of a wider Think Tank project funded by SEFARI to identify research priority areas for the use of agri-tech in Scotland. Led by Jenna Bowen at SRUC, the project team also includes members of staff from SRUC, The Moredun and Agri-Epi Centre.