The following information is a Web Extra from the pages of Top Producer. It corresponds with the article "Precision's Next Frontiers." You can find the article in Top Producer’s February 2014 issue.
Aiden Connolly, vice president with Alltech, Inc., says the future of precision ag in the livestock industry will hinge on "nutrigenomics." That is, feeding will become highly monitored and micromanaged for improved health and fertility.
"We envision constant data collection and feedback," he says. "Today, it’s more of a guessing game. It’s very piecemeal and reactive."
Alltech’s Center for Animal Nutrienomics and Applied Animal Nutrition is researching how nutrition affects gene expression. Specifically, the company is analyzing how diet and health interact from one generation to the next, and how animals react to nutrition at the genetic level.
Connolly says he hopes this research will lead to new insights. Success will still require connectivity along the value chain, he adds.
"Most information is still being collected in silos—it isn’t connected yet," he says. "It won’t be easy to link it all up, but it’s critical to our survival."