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New technologies deliver higher welfare standards and sustainability

New technologies in Danish agriculture can result in higher welfare standards and more sustainable production

Every year Danish agriculture invests substantial sums in research and development, including within the field of animal welfare and sustainability. In this respect, new technologies have an important role to play. Although technology is no substitute for a skilled workforce, it can help farmers make the right decisions and be used to good effect. This includes animal welfare and preventing outbreaks of tail biting in particular.

"As a result of our collaboration with scientists, we at SEGES have established that the tail posture of pigs in pens changes when an outbreak of tail biting is about to occur. Using that knowledge, it will eventually be possible to deploy advanced cameras to identify any change and inform farm workers when tail biting is likely to occur,” says Jakob Lave, Development Manager at SEGES.

Sustainability by mobile
Another area where technology can be used to create more sustainable production and improve the farmer’s bottom line is by using satellite photos of Denmark.
Every fourth day, a satellite photographs Denmark for four seconds at a height of 800 km and generates good quality images. SEGES has been involved in the development of CropManager – a programme that collects images with other data so that farmers can allocate nitrogen far more intelligently and according to where it is required. Developments are progressing apace and we’re getting to the stage where we will be able to treat every single plant,” says Jakob Lave.

There is no limit as to where the technology could be deployed to good effect. It could also be in connection with crop protection combined with other information from the satellite, e.g. the temperature of the soil.

"The next four to-five years will be very exciting. More sectors are beginning to talk together and to share data and knowledge. Collaborating on technology and data will have a decisive impact on even more climate-friendly agriculture – and better returns for the farmer,” says Jakob Lave.

Read also: New partnership to create new sources of sustainable protein