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Smart Farming for Healthier Herds: FarmPro’s FarmPlusCare

Livestock farming is a challenging business that gets riskier and more expensive as of late. One of the fears many farmers have is that having a dense congregation of animals might make infectious diseases spread much faster, leading to mass mortality and low productivity. [photo credit: PixaBay on Pexel]

We’ve certainly seen recent cases where millions of animals have been culled in recent years because of this kind of issue. Whether it is Korean cattle with lumpy skin, Danish minks, Japanese chicken, or Chinese pork, this is a high-risk scenario that plays out on a regular basis.

FarmPro believes it has a solution to this challenge. Its FarmPlusCare hardware product is a real-time monitoring device for large livestock (like cows) that collects health data such as temperature and activity every 10 minutes. The device is about the size of an iPod, weighs 50g, and can sense 0.1 degrees C temperature variations. If you want to see it, FarmPro will be at CES 2024.

The device is installed near or on the ear of the cattle, which is why it wouldn’t work on smaller livestock, for now. The data is fed into a database from which it can be analyzed by their algorithms. Users have a dashboard that is accessible from a mobile app or PC.

Body temperature tracking is a great tool to detect infections at an early stage, giving farmers enough time to isolate sick animals and avoid mass contagion. It is apparently possible to extract insights such as whether an animal has eaten or had enough to drink.

There’s a simple notification system, just like any other app. The tracker also helps with more positive outcomes and tasks such as tracking and managing the births, pregnancy, and delivery schedules.

At a high level, this may appear simple, and one must wonder why this wasn’t done by every farmer before. However, the implementation of these concepts is very difficult. FarmPro’s founders have experience actually running farms and are well aware of things that need fixing. For instance, the hardware is very well designed to run in a farming environment where things can get rough, with temperatures, dirt, humidity, and even shocks, which can be problematic.

So far, FarmPro has deployed its solutions in several countries. For example, some farmers in Argentina have used the system for the past three years. Other places include France, Mongolia, and more. As you can guess, New Zealand and Australia are high on the list of countries FarmPro would like to expand next. The company’s data is encouraging, with a rise of 20% in milk production and a 50% drop in diseases.

From a business standpoint, the company estimates the business opportunity to grow to $736M by 2030. Their strategy so far is to have new customers get on board and run the system free for one year. After that, the service becomes a recurring subscription, essentially after the customers had time to see the benefits.

FarmPro is eager to get new customers up and running, so they are quite aggressive with the hardware pricing, which they say is about ~30% less expensive than competitors. Hopefully, future hardware revisions can open the market to smaller (and more numerous) animals such as sheep/lamb.

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