Smart farming

Background

New ’Beefie’ app for worry-free cattle weighing

The Hungarian startup Agroninja will debut its new smartphone app to weight cattle, without touching them, to the European market after a successful launch in Hungary.

The company will be present at the upcoming GFIA Europe in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Agroninja developed ‘Beefie’, what they call a game-changer when it comes to the risky, costly and difficult procedure of weighing cattle.

The technology uses photographs captured from 2-6 meters distance with standard Android 5.1+ smartphone systems. This is then linked to an external device to calculate weights and gives 95% accurate results. Photo: Agroninja
The technology uses photographs captured from 2-6 meters distance with standard Android 5.1+ smartphone systems. This is then linked to an external device to calculate weights and gives 95% accurate results. Photo: Agroninja

Weighing is important

“Every farmer knows exactly how important and delicate the weighing of cattle is,” says Gergely Boromisza, the co-founder of Beefie. “Knowing the exact weight is the key to optimising feeding, healing, and inseminating as well.” In fact, agribusiness relies heavily on precise record keeping, and Mr Boromisza points out that animal caretakers and managers need accurate weights in particular in order to track the overall condition, development, and health of their herds. While this data is crucial to the success of large animal husbandry practices, it can be frustrating, time-consuming, and ultimately costly to physically move cattle to a scale to get these much-needed accurate weights. Various aspects of the weighing process alone can result in stress causing animals to lose up to 1-2% their total bodyweight as a result. Weighing also creates added risk of accidents and injury to livestock and generates high costs associated with extra labour, transport, and the equipment itself. This all adds up to significant extra expense and a net loss to any producer’s bottom line.

Development of new digital scale

“I found this problem so fascinating that I bought a pair of Wellingtons and spent half of last year in the fields,” Mr Boromisza says. “We took more than 2,000 measuring tests personally on the most important breeds. I was sure that if we understood the problem in detail, we would be able to build a technological solution for it.” With this data in hand, Mr Boromisza founded Agroninja and began developing a new digital scale that would utilise advanced algorithms and data analysis with standard handheld technology to weigh animals where they stood, enabling users to collect and compile weights and other valuable statistics on their cattle without moving them from the field or lot.

As easy as taking a picture

Not only can the app store and compile important herd data for future reference, but it makes getting that data in the first place as easy as taking a picture. The technology uses photographs captured from 2-6 meters distance with standard Android 5.1+ smartphone systems. This is then linked to an external device to calculate weights and gives 95% accurate results, even when animals are in motion or partially obscured. The application takes into account the condition, breed, gender, age and general appearance of the animal based on user input, and creates an entry with the animal’s individual ID number and photograph that is always available for instant reference, even offline.

Agroninja will be present at the GFIA Europe this week.

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