Data and interconnectivity is key for Alltech, which is currently launching a suite of technologies and upgrades to the market this year.
Currently managing over 300,000 animals on over 2,000 farms across the globe, the Alltech InTouch system has become one of the world’s leading feed management systems.
The InTouch system combines feed-management software, mixer wagon controller technology and onfarm data to provide decision-making tools to ensure feeding is consistent and accurate and helps drive animal performance. The system, which is due to receive a number of upgrades later this year, along with a number of other agricultural technology innovations, led Alltech to claim the Established Agritech Award at this year’s Innovation Arena.
The Irish Farmers Journal recently spoke to Conan Condon, Head of Agri analytics at Alltech, about the suite of technologies and upgrades being introduced this year.
FOURTH-GENERATION KEENAN CONTROLLER
The fourth-generation KEENAN controller was launched this year. The controller is a smart and integrated weighing device, which connects to any TMR mixer wagon. The controller is fitted to around 70% of newly manufactured KEENAN machines. It builds on the last series with new features added to improve the experience while facilitating a higher number of pens and diets for larger beef units.
The entire premise of the controller is to help farmers achieve consistency in loading, mixing and delivery of feed to all the animals. This is what drives performance and also helps reduce waste, explains Conan.
Over the last nine months, the team has been re-engineering how it presents the information to the farmer on the InTouch dashboard. Conan says they have made significant changes to the layout and functionality. Data validation testing took place in July 2021 while on-farm testing is under way since August 2021.
The plan is to go live with the dashboard in September 2021. The adviser and industry section of the dashboard will be delivered by the end of 2021. The dashboard links directly to the feed management software and KEENAN controller, which allows farmers to look at multiple parameters of their feed including DM, intake per pen, ingredient usage and cost, recipes, loading accuracy and much more.
Using the system, farmers will be able to generate detailed reports on the cost of their feed. Furthermore, once linked with production data, farmers can generate detailed performance and profitability insights.
FEED MANAGEMENT APP
Finally, Alltech is launching a new mobile app which will allow a farmer to change ingredients and rations on the go, linking directly with the controller and the cloud feed management software. This eliminates the need for farmers to change rations through a desktop computer.
The app also allows the farmer to control the entire loading and unloading process while in the cab of the tractor.
INNOVATION IS KEY
One thing which is clear from talking to Conan is that innovation is constant within Alltech. While the direction and nature of innovation can be driven by policy and needs, ultimately it needs to drive financial benefit to the farmers. “If your system doesn’t do that, then it’s not worth much,” says Conan.