PODCAST: Data Solutions for Dairy Challenges
The winning team of the first Producer-Lead Innovation Challenge hosted by AgriNovus Indiana says its work could help farmers to better manage their operations.
The Benton Group, a dairy operation headquartered in the town of Ambia, partnered with Colorado-based iYOTAH Solutions last year to find answers that solve critical gaps in farm management software.
The Benton Group is made up of three dairy farms in Benton and Warren Counties with more than 15,000 cows. That’s a big herd with big challenges.
“We focused on feeding and trying to get the most, fresh feed to our cows every day as possible,” said Keith Hoeing, site manager of the Benton Group, on this week’s episode of the Ag+Bio+Science podcast.
Hoeing said the Benton team faces multiple variables in herd care, including how much the cows are going to eat, cattle movement, weather data, and how much milk is produced each day.
“We needed help to gather all that data from all of our different computers that are here on-site, all of our different programs,” Hoeing told Inside INdiana Business host Gerry Dick, who also hosts the AgriNovus Indiana podcast.
The team’s innovative technology is designed to ingest data from multiple data sources, secure that data in the cloud and provide data analytics offering better and more connected information. Paul Ousterhout from iYOTAH says their technological solution is being built from the ground up with input from pilot herds and key industry thought leaders.
“But bringing all that data together and overlaying it. It presents one really clear view of what’s going on in the farm,” said Ousterhout. “We can present what happened yesterday so that Keith and his team can take a look at that fresh data and make adjustments to their feeding today.”
As winners of the 2020 Producer-Led Innovation Challenge, the Benton Group and iYOTAH received a $25,000 prize from the Purdue Foundry. The Benton Team was selected from 15 teams representing industry, startups and academia with 58 participants.
The team says results show great promise to significantly impact financial performance for this farm and others in 2021.
“If we can control how much feed is placed, we can reduce waste and thereby reduce expenses,” said Ousterhout. “And if we can do both of those things at the same time, good things happen financially.”
Each week, host Gerry Dick conducts conversations with leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs in Indiana’s agbioscience sector, discussing the confluence of food, agriculture, science and technology.
The full podcast will be available Monday morning. Click here for more information on how you can listen.