January 18, 2022

Cargill expands portfolio of AI-powered innovations to give poultry producers actionable insights


Cargill is assembling a portfolio of artificial intelligence-driven innovations through proprietary development and strategic partnerships to go beyond nutrition and help customers optimise their operations with actionable insights.


These innovations include the Galleon Microbiome Analysis, a comprehensive broiler microbiome health assessment tool.


According to Cargill, there is an interdependency between the condition of the gut microbiome and the flock's health. Therefore, understanding the gut microbiome allows producers to optimise animal health and performance.


The company's patent-pending Galleon tool enables broiler producers to decide how changes such as in raw materials, diet, additives, vaccine programmes and farm management practices influence the microbiome of their flock.


Using a simple swab from a live bird, Cargill scientists analyse a customer's flock health using Galleon's robust database of poultry microbiome, developed over a decade using a global data set and nearly 100 trial studies.


The analysis is further augmented using statistical analysis, machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities to provide producers with a comprehensive report and recommended interventions to address issues. In addition, results are unbiased towards a specific product.


Galleon can help producers:


    - Improve the flock's performance for economic benefit by means including but not limited to switching feed and additives or improving management practices;


    - Support a healthy flock;


    - Help provide information when a flock is not performing well;


    - Pinpoint reasons why different farms with the same inputs, like feed management and antibiotic regimens, have different performance results.


"An animal's gut microbiome influences its health in so many ways," said Cargill's principal microbiome researcher, Dr. Briana Kozlowicz. "We've accumulated an industry-leading volume of microbiome data that we can now tap into to provide actionable insights to our customers to improve the performance of their flocks."


Feed is the highest cost input for poultry producers and the primary contributor to their birds' health. At the same time, obtaining accurate animal weight is a time-consuming and labor-intensive flock management effort.


To help producers better track broiler performance, Cargill has teamed up with digital technology enablement firm, Knex, to develop Birdoo, a first-of-its-kind technology that leverages proprietary computer visioning and artificial intelligence that combines hands-free, real-time flock insights with predictive modeling data.


This helps producers make informed decisions quicker while supporting their bottom lines through better animal health and well-being, increased uniformity and improved performance of their flocks.


Birdoo will help Cargill producers:


    - Replace manual weighing with precision through 3D imaging — Obtain greater than 95% accuracy on broiler weight estimation with no labor required to calibrate devices, thus improving human and animal welfare;


    - Track broiler performance and weight variability in real-time — A cloud-based platform that allows farmers, technical assistants, nutritionists and management to track animal performance and anticipate issues for better resolutions and outcomes;


    - Reduce processing variability and save on costs through better harvest planning — Weight prediction data helps planners harvest flocks more efficiently and sustainably by improving the feed conversion ratio and saving on feed (on average 10-30g per bird), thus reducing variability and the number of downgrades at the packing plant.


"We talk with our customers every day, listen to what they need, and are committed to delivering innovative solutions like Galleon and Birdoo, to help their businesses thrive," said Adriano Marcon, president of Cargill's animal nutrition business. "We're combining our deep animal nutrition expertise with leading-edge technologies to deliver actionable insights that address their unique animal health and production challenges."


Cargill will be holding innovation demos at this year's International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Georgia, the United States.


- Cargill

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