On RFD-TV: Tami Brown-Brandl
University of Nebraska researchers have developed technology making it possible to quickly identify sick pigs in large production facilities. This research represents a potential breakthrough for commercial hog production and recently won the worldwide High Quality Pork Precision Farming Award from Merck Animal Health. Tami Brown-Brandl, professor of biological systems engineering, leads the research. She appeared live on RFD-TV, Jan. 26, 2021.
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[00:00:00.450]Well there's new technology to quickly identify sick pigs
[00:00:03.320]in large production facilities.
[00:00:05.390]It comes as the AG sector is on high alert
[00:00:07.920]from outbreaks overseas
[00:00:09.330]and University of Nebraska researchers,
[00:00:11.100]they're leading the way.
[00:00:13.010]Tami Brown-Brandl is the lead researcher and joins us now
[00:00:16.500]with the latest insight.
[00:00:17.550]Tami, thanks for taking the time
[00:00:18.720]to chat with us this morning.
[00:00:20.410]Can you describe this problem
[00:00:21.979]that the research is aiming to address?
[00:00:25.290]Yes, so currently animal caretakers identify sick pigs
[00:00:29.042]and pigs that are ready for market entirely by site.
[00:00:34.112]And so they walk through the pens
[00:00:36.061]and be able to identify those animals that aren't
[00:00:39.760]feeling well strictly by behavior changes.
[00:00:43.270]And this prevents, this presents a huge challenge
[00:00:46.210]for even the most experienced
[00:00:47.710]and highly trained animal caretakers.
[00:00:52.240]How exactly does the research allow
[00:00:53.980]those caretakers to identify those animals more quickly?
[00:00:57.780]So we're using a system that uses radio frequency
[00:01:01.960]identification, or if you've heard of RFID tags.
[00:01:04.994]Simply put, that's a high tech ear tag that monitors how
[00:01:09.340]much time that pigs spends at the feeder.
[00:01:13.120]So we have time spent at the feeder daily
[00:01:16.020]and the system looks at that time
[00:01:19.760]spent the feeder and looks at that change.
[00:01:22.660]And when an animal changes its feeding behavior
[00:01:25.200]it knows it can flag that animal and the producer can come
[00:01:30.360]and find that animal and care for it.
[00:01:33.010]Now, of course, if the system can estimate
[00:01:34.740]the animal's weight and of course its feed rations
[00:01:36.970]that it's taking in,
[00:01:38.000]are there other ways this information can be used as well?
[00:01:42.340]Yeah, so the other thing is
[00:01:44.850]that when an animal is getting close to ready for market,
[00:01:49.528]the system can actually identify the weight
[00:01:53.380]and estimate weights multiple times per day.
[00:01:55.890]This allows the producer to precisely know when
[00:01:58.420]the pig is ready to reach its target weight
[00:02:01.390]and ready to send off to market.
[00:02:03.169]This is absolutely critical
[00:02:05.452]for the bottom line of the hog operation.
[00:02:10.000]Now, is this technology available
[00:02:11.790]to hog producers right now
[00:02:13.220]or are we setting this up for the future?
[00:02:15.780]So currently the system is installed
[00:02:19.577]at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center
[00:02:21.960]in Clay Center, Nebraska.
[00:02:23.290]And we've been working on the system for a few years.
[00:02:25.800]This system just won an award from Merck Animal Health
[00:02:30.160]and we are going to expand the system
[00:02:32.240]and it will be put into one of the judge's farms.
[00:02:37.334]If it goes really well, it has a potential to work
[00:02:40.860]towards a commercial version of the product soon.
[00:02:44.710]All right, well, thank you very much
[00:02:45.990]for your insight this morning.
[00:02:46.960]We appreciate it.
[00:02:47.940]Tami Brown-Brandl, she's with the University
[00:02:50.040]of Nebraska Lincoln joining us of course
[00:02:52.430]from the Husker state this morning.
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