June 1, 2023
University of Arkansas unveils poultry science smart farming research facility
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture's Milo J. Shult Agricultural Research and Extension Centre has officially opened its Poultry Science Smart Farming Research Facility, designed to provide innovation in precision poultry production and student training, Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
The facility, covering nearly 16,000 square feet, incorporates cutting-edge technology and integrated systems to gather data on water and feed intake, as well as monitor climate conditions within the poultry house. This "smart farm" is seamlessly connected to a cloud-based data storage service, enabling real-time analysis through a dedicated app.
At the core of the facility's capabilities are internet-connected sensors that allow researchers to study bird performance under specific temperature conditions and even automate feed orders when the supply is running low. The Poultry Science Smart Farming Research Facility also features floor pens equipped with industry-standard rearing equipment, providing a comprehensive research environment.
Aviagen's donation, along with equipment gifts from Reliable Poultry, Diversified Ag, MTech Systems, and D&F Equipment, helped make this state-of-the-art facility a reality. Matching funding from Tyson Foods and infrastructure funds from the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station further supported the project.
Deacue Fields, Vice President of Agriculture for the University of Arkansas System and head of the Division of Agriculture, said that the facility aligns with the university's land-grant mission, which encompasses research, extension, and education.
Fields expressed gratitude for the collaborative effort, stating that partnerships were crucial in the face of budget constraints. With the new facility, the Division of Agriculture aims to advance the poultry industry, Arkansas' top agricultural commodity, and solidify the state's position as a leading poultry producer nationwide.
Jean-François Meullenet, Director of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station and Senior Associate Vice President for Agriculture-Research, said that the sophistication of the facility sets it apart as the most advanced poultry research facility in the state.
Meullenet said that this position would enable the University of Arkansas to conduct leading-edge research on poultry production and nutrition, as well as facilitate the prompt adoption of research findings by the industry.
- Arkansas Democrat Gazette