Digital Twins in agribusiness during the pandemic era

Digital Twins in agribusiness during the pandemic era - Smart4Agro

In this article we will try to reveal the idea and essence of digital counterparts in dairy production, their benefits, especially in a pandemic.

One of the important points related to efficient dairy production has always been the interaction of farmers, veterinarians, manufacturers of premixes and feed mixtures, process consultants in dairy production and commercial milk processors. Unfortunately, such a time came because of coronovirus infection, when it became impossible to make trips to farms for consulting "on the spot". But you cannot force the cow to “wait”, and the farmer needs to fulfill production plans, monitor the quality of the products, and be within the optimal production cost.

At the same time, any modern dairy complex has a sufficient number of various kinds of automation systems - a herd, milking parlor, feed mill, feed dispenser control system, ERP system, etc. Previously, in the event of a “milk drop”, the consultant came to the farm and went to spot dealt with its causes. To do this, he took data from the herd management system, analyzed the performance of the milking parlor, evaluated the results of veterinary measures, and so on. Sometimes the reasons could be found quickly, sometimes it took several days. In any case, while the consultant worked out a certain “recipe” of actions for the economy, it continued to lose money. Nevertheless, this scheme worked, and allowed to solve problems.

What happened after everyone was advised to "isolate themselves". Business trips have been canceled, trips have stopped, many enterprises have banned access to complexes by strangers, and all have switched to "remote location". And in case of problems, the consultant is now forced to remotely consult the milk producer. But many of the systems on the farm do not have the technical ability to gain remote access, the staff is busy, and is not qualified to collect data for a consultant.

And here a system comes to the rescue, which can collect all the data from different systems in the enterprise and consolidate them in one place in the so-called “Digital Twin”. But, firstly, the trouble is that despite the presence of such a system on the market, it does not have such a wide distribution that could cover the consulting needs of agricultural enterprises. And secondly, and this is the main thing, as yet not everyone understands the value of Digital Twins for business.

But he can solve problems not only in data collection and primary analytics, which is very important for the search for insights, anomalies, patterns, etc. Its main task is to make forecasts of production, conduct “virtual” experiments in the digital environment, without affecting the business itself, without experimenting “lively”. To provide the business with ready-made “recipes” for actions, including in an automated mode, without the participation of consultants, especially in operational management. You say it's fantastic? No, this is an absolute reality, it works and brings benefits and competitive advantages to those farms that are "ripe" before consulting at this level.

If you make the whole process from feeding, veterinary medicine, milk production and processing transparent, then there will be no surprises on the chain of interaction between the producer of premixes and animal feed, the agronomist, the veterinarian, the producer of commercial milk, the milk processor and the end user of dairy products. In every yogurt, cottage cheese, in every liter of milk, the labor of hundreds of people is laid. High quality products, their taste characteristics, optimal cost and final selling price - this is the guarantee that the products will be in demand by the end user, because, in the end, we all work for him.

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