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10 June 2024
Over the Farm Gate

SkyCount debuts at Fieldays: transforming livestock audits with AI

Exclusive to PGG Wrightson Livestock, SkyCount integrates aerial imagery and AI software to conduct livestock audits at a new level of speed, accuracy and efficiency.

A revolutionary new way to tally livestock is on display this week at Mystery Creek Fieldays. SkyCount, PGG Wrightson’s innovative calculation system, integrates aerial imagery and AI software to conduct livestock audits. Fieldays 2024 is SkyCount’s first public outing.

PGG Wrightson Livestock General Manager Peter Newbold is excited about the new SkyCount product. He says it is a game changer. 

Rather than engaging a team of livestock representatives and farm staff to perform a manual count, which is labour intensive, takes hours if not days, and has the potential to stress stock, SkyCount accurately counts a herd or a flock within minutes without any disruption to on-farm operations.

SkyCount captures imagery from above, via an autonomous aircraft flying over a paddock at an altitude that goes unnoticed by livestock. Footage is analysed immediately by an artificial intelligence model engineered to identify and count specific species, including cattle and sheep, across diverse farm landscapes and conditions.

Peter Newbold says the response so far is enthusiastic.

“Roger Lamb and James Steele, who have been leading this project over the last couple of years, have developed a product that will add a lot of value to our clients and create efficiencies in the way farms operate.”

“Now in the final stages of development, our livestock team are set to offer SkyCount commercially in the spring. In the meantime, we aim to complete testing and refinement on a variety of different terrains, particularly applying the technology across large paddocks on hill country sheep and beef farms. Like all AI models, the more information we put through SkyCount the more it improves, and we are already achieving near 100% accuracy through the model, so with minimal human intervention we can provide a complete count that is then provided electronically to the farmer.”

“Farmers we have tested it with appreciate its speed and accuracy, counting livestock without having to move them or disrupt farming operations. We are confident SkyCount is a winner and will make the important on-farm requirement of auditing a flock or a herd much more efficient. We invite you to come to the PGW stand at Mystery Creek (F25-27) and talk to Roger and James about how SkyCount will benefit your farm management.” 

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