Facial recognition for cows is a Cargill thing now…

Cargill and Cainthus photo

Cargill is backing an Irish startup that uses facial recognition software to help increase the productivity of dairy cows, the latest move by the largest closely held U.S. company to bolster its agricultural-technology efforts.

Cargill has taken a minority stake in Cainthus, which harnesses machine-learning and imaging techniques to identify cows and glean information on everything from their behavior to appetite, David Hunt, president and co-founder of Cainthus, said in a telephone interview Wednesday…

Hunt said Dublin-based Cainthus chose Cargill over venture capital firms because of the U.S. company’s footprint in agriculture. Cargill is still owned by the same family that founded it 153 years ago and it’s one of the world’s largest crop traders and meat producers.

Most farmers in my extended family don’t farm on a scale that would require recognition software to aid productivity. Those with any four-footed critters on the farm know them by their first name. But, of course, I can understand the problem for larger farms and, of course, factory-style farming.

Will Cargill also take the lead in the next logical advance? Eliminate the need for humans to run the farm, run the machinery, deal with harvesting crops – whether animal or vegetable?

2 thoughts on “Facial recognition for cows is a Cargill thing now…

  1. Agriculturist says:

    Farm of the future in “The Future World of Agriculture” (Walt Disney World EPCOT Center book), published in 1984. https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–qYXjqGOm–/c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636/18qibiezx6i9zjpg.jpg “The farmer in this artist’s conception of a farm of the future sits in his computer room (right), studying images of his fields beamed down from a small Landsat satellite. The red spots on the screen indicate crop stress that needs to be corrected. With the aid of his computer, which processes the data and suggests a solution, the farmers solves the problem. Robots in the field (one is seen at far left) take the corrective action ordered by the farmer. At center, the farmer’s wife and child talk to the operator of a huge farm machine used for plowing and planting.”
    See also “The Surreal Sci-Fi Farms That Grow Most of Our Food” https://www.wired.com/2014/12/surreal-sci-fi-farms-grow-food/ and http://www.technovelgy.com/ct/Science_List_Detail.asp?BT=Agriculture

  2. Roberto says:

    Every year, more cows are milked by robots. https://grist.org/briefly/every-year-more-cows-are-milked-by-robots/ The machines used to be cumbersome and prone to failure, but the newer models really work. They feed cows, milk them, clean them, and carefully monitor their health. According to Bloomberg, robots are staged to surge into dairies in coming years. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-30/thanks-to-trump-more-u-s-milk-will-be-coming-from-robot-labor

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