BASF gives pigs a digital passport to track feed intake, animal health and genetic pedigree

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/dusanpetkovic
© GettyImages/dusanpetkovic

Related tags: Basf, pigs, SUISAG, feed consumption, health

BASF digital technology subsidiary, Cloudfarms, says it has enhanced its existing production management system for pig producers.

Its new ‘pig passport’ tool is designed to enable breeding and production farms along with processors to register and analyze production data of each individual pig from birth to processing.

The registered production data contains information such as the pig's genetic pedigree, feed consumption, or health information. An electronic ear tag connected to the Cloudfarms mobile app allows fast, reliable, and easy data entry for each pig, said the tech developer. The development is aimed at making management and animal handling even more effective, it added.

Test phase

Cloudfarms is collaborating with Swiss genetics and animal health organization, SUISAG, on a pilot project, whereby pig producers in Switzerland and Germany are testing the software application in their daily operations.

The Cloudfarms mobile app is integrated into SUISAG’s reporting platform, SuisDataManager. As part of the test phase, the software application will be further customized to the pig producers’ specific needs. 

On commercial pig farms, pigs are typically managed as groups, not as individuals. “Now, each animal receives a digital “passport’, which can be used throughout the supply chain,” ​said Cloudfarms’ MD Jens Toppenberg. “Allowing more traceability, transparency and precision, individual management of pigs is the foundation to address key challenges of the pig industry such as food safety, animal health, efficient and sustainable production, and full transparency for consumers.”

Customer driven development

The continuous development of the Cloudfarms system is mainly driven by ideas from customers, he told this publication. “The ‘pig passport’ is the direct result of requests from the pig sector. The easy registration of individual pigs from birth to processing is the swine industry’s logical answer to consumer demands and the ongoing challenge to produce pork efficiently and sustainably. For example, processors can use the ‘pig passport’ to sort individual animals according to various characteristics, like antibiotics use, to gain more value.”

Cloudfarms’ production management system is suitable for farms of any size, as well as for integrators with multiple farm locations, their own feed production and processing plants, said the representative. “It supports all pork production processes, including farrow-to-finish, breeding, and multiplication management.”

The Cloudfarms system saves time in the barn and in the office every week, while enabling more timely and accurate data-driven decisions about the daily production, according to Toppenberg. “Moreover, the mobile app is easy to use – a technical background is not required.”

Feed mills can participate in the Cloudfarms system to evaluate how their feed performs on-site, continued Toppenberg. “No matter if farms choose to use Cloudfarms for managing their pigs in groups or individually - when farm owners agree to share their data with feed mills, feed consultants can see real-time performance remotely, and can give advice accordingly.”

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