As everything from feed management equipment to barn controllers becomes more sophisticated, pork producers have access to more data to help fine-tune their operations. The challenge is to transform this wealth of data into understandable, useful information.
Feedlogic Corporation recently introduced MyFarm, an Internet-based open platform designed to collect and manage data from pork production sites and feedmills.
MyFarm is a flexible, user-friendly system that allows multiple users in the pork production supply chain to access and manage the data efficiently. The platform is built to allow many other applications to work with it.
The information needed to drive this new tool is collected through sensors, such as feed meters or barn controllers. A communication hub collects the data and transmits it to a cloud-based storage platform. Producers can view the data from a computer, tablet or smart phone.
“The MyFarm concept means no more databases on a desk,” says Drew Ryder, Feedlogic president. “By using an Internet cloud-based platform, we have created a simpler way of connecting people with the information they need. Our customers have asked us for actionable data at a reasonable cost. We can deliver that because our platform does not require customers and their suppliers to purchase proprietary software for multiple locations.”
Feed Management Focus
Initially, MyFarm will have a number of applications related to feed management. It integrates with the company’s FeedMeter application, which allows real-time tracking of feed usage on production sites. The platform also works with FeedAlert, an app that alerts users when a feed outage or excessive feed usage occurs. It also works with FeedLogic’s MyBin app that tracks and manages on-farm feed inventories.
The Feed Allocation System (FAS) from Prairie Systems is also compatible with MyFarm and helps manage feed budgets and feed ordering.
The MyFarm portal allows users to access a Web portal to view, comment and monitor on-farm activity. “In order to get started, producers need a communication hub that has Internet connectivity,” Ryder explains. “Feedlogic will help producers set up the data management system that helps interpret the data they are seeking.
“What makes MyFarm so powerful is its interactive characteristics and its potential to provide a more open exchange of data between companies,” he continues.
“A lot of the information in the livestock production and feed manufacturing sectors is currently stored on local servers using proprietary software or not entered into a computer at all. This creates ‘information silos’ where the data required by suppliers to fulfill orders is not easily available, which adds unnecessary time to the ordering process.”
Accordingly, MyFarm can break down some of the silos and reduce the lead time required in the ordering process by automatically notifying feed suppliers when bins need to be filled.
More Apps to Come
A number of other apps are being planned as the MyFarm platform is rolled out. These include applications to monitor water, propane and electrical use. Each application will be designed so that users can set their own thresholds for alerting and reporting.
“The information could be used to look at the ideal thermal neutral environment for pigs housed in a specific building,” he explains. “Ultimately, a producer could use the information when looking for cost savings based on efficiency in their facilities.”
The cost to store data in the cloud is low and will continue to get lower, Ryder adds. “We can add many more apps without taxing the system, allowing customization at a much lower cost.”
No two livestock production or feed manufacturing operations are the same, and they shouldn’t be stuck with using the same software as everyone else. MyFarm will allow operations to create and access the data that is most pertinent to them based on their supply arrangements.
“We’re like a translation box between the controllers or sensors in the barns and what the producer wants to accomplish with the information that can be gathered,” Ryder concludes.
Learn more about the MyFarm System at www.feedlogic.com.