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University of Nebraska-Lincoln to research early disease detection

Already underway, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln(UNL) research project aims to enhance individual animal monitoring and care practices as well as create farm labor efficiencies for the swine industry.
calendar icon 17 December 2021
clock icon 1 minute read

The research is focused on early disease detection using radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology to monitor individual pig feeding behaviour and track what the pig eats and drinks, said a Merck Animal Health press release.

Researchers are developing a dashboard that will provide swine producers with real-time insights on an individual animal’s feeding behaviours to help them identify sick animals sooner.

The goal of the project is to apply the technology to a commercial operation in the United States and evaluate its implementation in the farm setting. It would also be applied to a commercial operation outside of the US to understand any global implications.

The project will also use depth-camera images to weigh pigs while they are drinking, identified through RFID. Data is captured continuously, and will be available each day on the dashboard. Having access to this type of information will allow farmers to make informed decision comes slaughter. It enables producers to sell uniform loads of animals when they're at their ideal weight.

Melanie Epp

Melanie Epp is a freelance agricultural journalist from Ontario, Canada.