As we approach the Animal AgTech Innovation Summit in Amsterdam, experts from Choice Genetics, OptiFarm and the VandrieGroup share their thoughts on the integration of precision technology, alternative feed sources and optimising genetic traits for livestock.

Florence Ytournel, R&D Global Director, CHOICE GENETICS, FRANCE:
“Livestock performance is defined by traits that satisfy the pork value chain, going from the producer to the consumer (also citizen) over the slaughter plant and meat processor. Such traits are related to the quantity of pigs that can be sold (reproductive ability and survivability), the quality of the pigs sold (meat quality under all definitions it can take all over the world), their production cost (feed efficiency mainly, but also labour requirement). Some of these traits are under selection and show major improvement over the last decades. Improvement comes from two sides: genetics and management (feed, environment, and health mainly). These are the two aspects on which the pork production chain shall work to make the improvement repeatable.”

David Speller, CEO & Founder, OPTIFARM, UK:
“Many costs of production savings in today’s agriculture have been achieved by the sheer scale of production and by embracing the efficiencies associated with scale. Scale can however dilute individuality, especially in livestock farming. Today there is an opportunity to link precision technologies and their data outputs to decision making and delivery of farm inputs in real time on a daily basis. This allows a more customised, bespoke, and efficient approach to input management at a farm level whilst maintaining the efficiencies of scale at a supply industry level.”

Ruth Bouwstra, Director Corporate Quality, VANDRIE GROUP, NETHERLANDS:
“For animal health and performance, it is of great value that feed composition is stable and of high quality with essential compounds. New protein sources such as insects can be of added value because they are produced under controlled conditions and thus provide a stable raw material with essential compounds for health and performance. The veal calf production chain is already very efficient in using residuals as 80% of the calf milk consists of by-products. The veal diet might become even more sustainable and circular if new feed resources are introduced in the production chain.”

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