U.S – Fieldale Farms has joined forces with Intelia Technologies Inc. to harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in automating bird weight predictions.
This innovative approach not only addresses the constant challenge of accurate weight forecasts but also marks a significant leap forward in streamlining poultry production processes.
Fieldale Farms is a family-owned poultry integrator based in Baldwin, Georgia, close to where it began operations in 1972. It employs 4,000 people.
Casey Middlebrooks, Data Analyst and Live Production Coordinator at Fieldale Farms, highlighted the central issue they aimed to solve: the need for accurate weight predictions without the reliance on bird scales or manual labor.
Speaking at the 2023 Poultry Tech Summit, Middlebrooks emphasized that the automation of this process using machine learning could revolutionize the industry by eliminating the time-consuming and labor-intensive nature of manual weight forecasts.
Traditionally, weight predictions have been calculated through manual means, with 26 individuals spending a substantial portion of their time each week on this repetitive task.
By integrating machine learning, workers can be freed from this burden, and the accuracy of predictions can be significantly enhanced, offering a more objective and efficient approach.
Caroline Forest, Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at Intelia Technologies Inc., explained that machine learning utilizes data to learn a function that maps inputs to outputs.
With over three years of weight data collected from 20,000 poultry flocks, the machine learning model demonstrated effectiveness in predicting weights for well-performing flocks.
However, challenges arose in pinpointing outliers, and the initial performance was inferior to traditional forecasting methods.
Forest clarified that machine learning requires a substantial amount of data, though not necessarily a vast amount of information.
Despite the initial hurdles, the potential for improvement over time as more data is incorporated remains a promising aspect of this technology.
Based in Joliette, a short distance from Montreal – a thriving hub of artificial intelligence development – Intelia leverages the latest digital technologies and advanced analytics to interconnect farms to the rest of the livestock production chain, closing the information loop in real-time to support better decision making.
Looking ahead, Fieldale Farms envisions continued exploration of opportunities to automate various aspects of poultry farming that currently demand significant manpower and time. The integration of machine learning in weight forecasting is just the beginning of a technological revolution in the poultry industry, promising enhanced accuracy, efficiency, and overall optimization of production processes.