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Precision Livestock Farming

Image by Stijn te Strake

Coordinator : Prof. Fabio Palmiro Abeni

Members :

Umberto Bernabucci, Edo D'Agaro, Massimo De Marchi, Pasquale De Palo, Corrado Dimauro, Andrea Formigoni, Vincenzo Lopreiato, Giorgio Marchesini, Leonardo Nanni Costa, Gianluca Neglia, Anna A. Sandrucci, Colomba Lina Sermoneta, Erminio Trevisi, Maddalena Zucali.

Auditors:

Damiano Cavallini, Pierpaolo Danieli, Alessandro Fantini, Ludovica Eugenia Mammi, Roberta Matera, Eleonora Nannoni, Angela Salzano, Veronica Redaelli, Francesco Tangorra, Alfonso Zecconi

Objective :

  • To integrate the skills present within ASPA on the issues of primary interest and, where necessary, to identify external interlocutors to be involved in supporting the work of the Commission itself;

  • To carry out a critical analysis of what is present in the literature on the issues deemed of primary interest by the Commission, creating at least one document to be published as a Review in the Journal of the Association;

  • To interface with the productive world by promoting meetings (conferences, seminars) on the occasion of the main trade fair events in the sector and on other occasions that the Commission, in agreement with the Board, may conseidered useful;

  • To identify a path that can lead to the creation of a text (or at least to the formulation of the guidelines that should follow) on precision animal husbandry, suitable for supporting the action of teachers in the main courses activated.

Activities 2022-2023:

 

In the period since the previous report, our Commission has carried out the following activities:

 

  • It conceived and planned a meeting between young undergraduates from the four universities in which master's degree programs are already active and which have a significant presence of courses related to precision animal husbandry. The initiative, called "1st PLF STUDENT'S TRAVEL WORKSHOP", will have 3 stages (Bologna, Lodi and Piacenza) and will be held from 22 to 24 September 2022. The proposal to create an event intended for young graduates in degree courses characterized by the application of new digital technologies to animal production aims to be the start of a series of annual events in which the work carried out by teachers and students for the preparation of the master's thesis is valued. Technical visits will be held to the facilities of the universities of Bologna (first day) and Piacenza (third day). On the central day, at the CREA headquarters in Lodi, a meeting will be held in which Main Lectures held by experts from manufacturers of devices used in precision animal husbandry will alternate with presentations of the work carried out by the students. At the end of the day, a jury will evaluate the best original presentation which, as a prize, will include the student's free participation in the ASPA 2023 Congress. In this regard, ASPA has been asked to sponsor the event.

  • He is preparing the editorial project for the drafting of a text that can represent a broad-spectrum support for the teaching of precision animal husbandry in national universities, perhaps also representing at the same time a useful updating tool for professionals and consultants in the sector. The text will represent a product of the work of the ASPA Commission, adequately integrated for any necessary external expertise by the contribution of recognized experts on specific topics not covered by the colleagues of the Commission itself.

  • As part of the II Cycle of ASPA webinars organized by the individual Commissions, the seminar entitled "Thermography as a precision tool in livestock farming" was held on 17 March 2022, carried out jointly by the members Prof. Leonardo Nanni Costa (Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna), Dr. Veronica Redaelli and Prof. Fabio Luzi (both University of Milan). Heartfelt thanks go to them for the kind availability with which they offered to organize the event, with a result much appreciated by the participants.

  • A book was recently published by the Forum University Publishing House, in which the chapter was edited by colleagues D'Agaro Edo, Pierpaolo Gibertoni, Esposito Stefano: "Application of precision feeding techniques (FPF, fish precision farming) and artificial intelligence (Machine and Deep Learning) in fish farming.

  • As part of the III Cycle of ASPA webinars organized by the individual Commissions, the Workshop "Application of new technologies in animals used for experimental and livestock purposes" was held on Thursday 9 March 2023, conceived by colleagues Prof. Fabio Luzi (UNIMI) and Prof. Leonardo Nanni Costa (UNIBO), who in the first part of the afternoon hosted the report by Prof. Malcolm Mitchell (AgriEpi Center and SRUC, Edinburgh FRSB - Chair in Physiology and Animal Welfare) entitled “Integrated sensors, systems and platforms for improved animal health, welfare and production through Precision Livestock Farming”. Subsequently, two webinars were presented by Dr. Veronica Redaelli (UNIROMA5) and Dr. Martina Zappaterra (UNIBO), focusing on approaches based on the use of thermography techniques.

  • In Naples, from 26 to 28 April 2023, the first Italian meeting of the Measurements and Applications in Veterinary and Animal Science (MeAVeAS) was held, sponsored by ASPA. There was the participation of various members of the Commission, with presentations related to the main applications of PLF, from dairy cattle to buffalo (particularly protagonist of the event). The members of our Commission Gianluca Neglia and Fabio Abeni formed the Commission that awarded the prizes for the best presentations.

  • Some contacts are underway with the Statistical Methodology and Experimental Design Commission to evaluate the possible creation of a course on the methods adopted in the PLF, intended for young researchers and whose implementation could be scheduled for 2024.

The efforts of the members of the Commission have been focused on the creation of the text "PRECISION ZOOTECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES IN BREEDING", in which 52 authors, both internal and external to the Commission, were involved. The goal is to have the volume printed by the first months of 2024.

Publications:

 

- Participation in the FAD event "Precision zootechnics: applicability and reliability" - Zooprophylactic and Zootechnical Initiatives Foundation. April 2021.

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