VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) are jointly developing a new smart, competitive technology platform for improving the profitability of dairy farms and for introducing commercial products through the contributions of business partners.
The solutions combine milk production with optical measurement technologies, telecommunications and digitalization, which are used to make real-time milk and feed quality measurements routine in dairy farms, according to the announcement from VTT. The solutions will be tested in practice at Luke’s pilot farm this year and next year.
Besides high-quality agricultural production, Finland has expertise in the utilization of optical measurement technologies, telecommunications and digitalization. The SmartFarm research project, which VTT and Luke are pursuing together, seeks to combine these in order to create innovative milk production supported by the new solutions, the announcement said.
"Today, dairy farms need immediate, quick, real-time, reliable data on the quality of milk and silage, which has been scarcely available so far," VTT project manager Mikko Utriainen said.
"Continuous data on the composition of milk and silage offers possibilities to improve productivity with the help of feeding control and input/output optimization. In addition, the farm-specific measurement of milk fat and protein contents that fulfills output control requirements could replace at least some laboratory samples,” Luke project manager Matti Pastell added.
Knowing the dry matter content of silage alone would already be of great help in optimizing feeding. In addition to new, more accurate measurement data, the project seeks to develop the usability of the data and the shared use of different systems.
Launched in 2017, the project is financed by Business Finland, and its business partners are Faba osk, Mtech Digital Solutions Oy, GrainSense Oy, PehuTec Oy and Spectral Engines Oy.
"The business and research partners in the SmartFarm project have broad expertise in customers’ needs, applications and technical opportunities. This is important in the initial development of new products and helps growth companies like us succeed on the global market,” technology director Uula Kantojärvi from Spectral Engines Oy said.