In the public debate about modern animal production methods, the voice of the farmer is rarely heard. Little is known about the daily work and economic pressure the single farmer is exposed to and what he thinks and feels about the increasingly complex production systems with demanding new control and monitoring technologies such as PLF. In a limited survey based on 21 farm visits (nine pig, five broiler, and seven dairy farms) in 10 EU countries, the knowledge of farmers on options and opportunities of precision livestock farming (PLF) technologies in modern animal production systems was investigated. The farmers were asked by personal free-format interviews face to face on their farms. Most pig and poultry farms were visited in 2014, just after the installation of the PLF technology in the farms and 2016 again after 2 yr of experience. The dairy farms could be visited only once in 2016. All farmers who get sufficient support from the providers developed a positive to very positive attitude to the real-time monitoring PLF systems. This applies for pig, broiler, and cow farms. Broiler farmers were more open to PLF than pig farmers. All farmers emphasized with few exceptions that the personal contact to the animals cannot be replaced by video cameras, but the PLF systems can be of great help in daily life. They enable the farmer to recognize problems significantly earlier than with conventional methods. These techniques are not only helpful and animal friendly, they may also assist to bridge the presently existing gap between producers and consumers by transparency of production. Drawbacks are the relative high prices for PLF equipment, sometimes poor maintenance service by the delivering companies, and the lack of broader experience with the systems in practice. Although one farmer responded after 2 yr of experience with his PLF system that he would not miss it anymore and that he understands his animals much better since he uses PLF monitoring, there is an urgent need for more and wider experiences. It is recommended to further test and develop PLF technologies in demonstration farms under practical conditions. It seems that PLF technologies can play an important role in the development of a future-oriented, sustainable, animal-friendly, and efficient livestock production with healthy animals.
European farmers' experiences with precision livestock farming systems / J. Hartung, T. Banhazi, E. Vranken, M. Guarino. - In: ANIMAL FRONTIERS. - ISSN 2160-6064. - 7:1(2017 Jan), pp. 38-44.
|Titolo:||European farmers' experiences with precision livestock farming systems|
GUARINO, MARCELLA (Ultimo)
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore AGR/10 - Costruzioni Rurali e Territorio Agroforestale|
|Data di pubblicazione:||gen-2017|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.2527/af.2017.0107|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|
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