EC-PLF 2015 conference a great success!

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EC-PLF 2015 conference a great success!

Rome, 18 December 2015

Over two-hundred twenty researchers from 23 countries participated in the EU-PLF co-organised 7th European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming (EC-PLF 2015) which took place in Milano, Italy on 15-18 September 2015.

As the interest of Precision Livestock Farming in growing worldwide, it is not surprising the conference had a high attendance. Scientists from the animal science and animal production realms as well as those from the sensor industry came together to share views and to discuss the latest developments in Precision Livestock Farming (PLF). Ninety-four papers were presented during 18 sessions devoted to cattle, broilers, pigs and sheep. Topics included the use of PLF for animal welfare; performance indicators as milk yield; assistance in milking; location, health, behaviour, and feed intake monitoring; estimation of body weight and condition as well as monitoring the climate conditions in the building and environmental impact of livestock production. The sessions also included presentations on the integration of Precision Livestock Farming technologies in farm management systems.

Precision Livestock Farming cannot and will not replace the farmer, but it surely helps him, making his work more efficient and more rewarding.

This statement was a common motif throughout a workshop organised by the EU-PLF project during EC-PLF conference . Farmers participating in the project gave their testimony on the benefits from the Precision Livestock Farming tools that are installed in their farms.

John Verhoijsen runs a pig farm in the Netherlands and he explained how the different technologies that are part of the EU-PLF project are utilised and how they assist him.

I use the eYeNamic, the Eye Scan and the Pig Cough Monitor. eYeNamic monitors the behaviour of my animals. When they are restless, the system warns me that I have to go and see what’s going wrong. The Cough Monitor informs me a couple of days in advance that some animals are going to have serious respiratory disorders if nothing is done. I can then treat them before they get really sick and spread their disease to the rest of the animals in the building. With the Eyescan I can assess the weight of my pigs continuously and identify the best moment to sell them. PLF [will] bring my farm to a higher level via better technical results, more profit and more satisfaction in my work.

The culmination of four years of research that is part of EU-PLF project will come to an end with the final conference to be held in Brussels, Belgium on the 29th September 2016. At the conference, in addition to the results of the project being shared, there will also be the presentation of the blueprint on how to implement PLF technology on farms and testimonies from farmers. It will be co-organised with the Animal Task Force.

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