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Making Big Data Work Better on the Farm

Dairy farms are using many technologies to collect data on their operations, but those systems often don’t talk to each other. This impedes farmers’ ability to use the data to make the best possible management decisions.

A multidisciplinary team of University of Wisconsin (UW) scientists led by Victor Cabrera has set out to create a “virtual dairy farm brain” that will collect and integrate all of a farm’s data streams in real time and then use artificial intelligence to analyze those data to help farmers run their businesses.

The UW team, which includes dairy scientists, agricultural economists and computer scientists, is collecting data from 4,000 cows in three Wisconsin herds. The system is collecting data on dairy operations from sire records, feed consumed, milk produced, weather conditions, and the price of milk. The data is sent to a campus-based server, which will then filter the information, and create intuitive, cloud-based decision-support tools for farmers.

NIFA supports this research through the Multistate Research Fund. Read the UW article.

Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.

Farm Bill Priority Areas
Animal health and production and animal products;
Agriculture economics and rural communities
U.S. States and Territories
Wisconsin
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