Press Officer Agriculture and Exhibitions
Prof. Eberhard Hartung, Chairman of the EuroTier Innovations Commission, Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Kiel University
(DLG). The EuroTier is the world’s largest market for innovations in the areas of process technology, equipment, management and software, stable facilities, as well as agricultural and industrial building construction for the entire animal production industry. This is emphasised by the 251 innovations from 167 firms from 21 countries approved by the DLG innovations commission. Above all, the huge number of exceptionally interesting new and further developments, as well as the substantial improvements to already well-known products, shows that the very high level of invention of the manufacturers in the agricultural animal production area continues and is constantly focused on innovation.
Key for the selection of the award-winning innovations and products (Innovation Award EuroTier 2016 – Gold and Silver Medals) are their practical importance, animal welfare, the effects on business and HR management, the environment and the energy situation. Possible labour-saving and work-safety effects are also taken into consideration during the award.
In total, 25 innovations are receiving the Innovation Award EuroTier 2016 this year, and will be awarded either a gold or a silver medal. The award-winning innovative products have not been presented and/or awarded at any other important trade fair or international show to date. They must be fully functional at the time of the trade fair and on the market in 2017 at the latest. The announcement and award ceremony in 2016 are taking place for the first time on the day before EuroTier begins, as part of the celebratory opening event.
It is the awarded products in particular that represent the ideal guideline for all the EuroTier visitors looking specifically for innovations, and therefore help to make visiting the trade fair more efficient. In addition to the innovations awarded gold or silver medals, the internet list “Candidates 2016” also includes those products that are new to their respective company but are already on the market.
The overall 14 specialist areas, to which the majority of the awarded products have been recommended this year, include of course the classics like “Animal management and feeding technology for cattle and pigs”. But medals could also be awarded in the specialist areas “Animal management and feeding technology for poultry”, “Herd management electronics and software” and “Equipment, accessories and spare parts”. Furthermore, medal holders can also found in the areas “Farm inputs and equipment for their use”, “Climate control and environmental technology”, “Milking and cooling technology” and “Poultry and egg processing and marketing”. Thus, the gold and silver medals awarded at EuroTier 2016 reflect the very broad spectrum of specialist areas.
Trends in cattle farming and milking technology
Most innovative developments this year at EuroTier are clearly in the area cattle farming and milking technology. There have been some very innovative solutions developed in calf husbandry in some cases, which better “conserve” the essential components in the milk and at the same time do not neglect hygiene in the area of calf husbandry. They considerably promote the health and animal management of the individual animals, improve animal welfare of the calves and heifers, and both consider and make holistic use of the “accumulated” animal data. It is becoming more and more important to technically link different areas, like for example animal identification, sensory data about behaviour and/or health monitoring and the localisation of the animal inside and outside for complete data collection throughout the entire (useful) life cycle of an animal. “Visualisation” of the needs of the calves has clear priority and is reflected in the very innovative solutions. There are also innovative approaches in “re-displaying” visual animal identifications as well as “visualisation” of the achieved homogeneity of feed mixtures.
Furthermore, in the time- and labour-intensive areas of feed provision as well as cubicle care and the “intelligent” litter distribution, successful attempts are being made to not only ease and reduce the work, but also to increase work quality and minimise possible (feed) losses. For this, there are very innovative approaches in the “automation” of the covering and uncovering of silo systems.
It is also shown that the efficiency and effectivity as well as the use of energy and additives can be optimised with residue-free cleaning and disinfection in the milking systems.
Trends in pig farming
The majority of the innovations this year in pig farming are in the area homogeneous and deposit-free feed mixtures and easily recognisable dosing and distribution processes adjusted for multi-phase feeding. These supply full doses, prevent feed residues and allow for the increasing use of CCM in the feed mixtures.
Contact-free processes for optical weight and body determination have not only managed the very innovative step from stationary to mobile systems, but also to so-called “software solutions”, which can be immediately used on all the hardware systems of modern 3D communication technology. Here, steps are taken towards new, more flexible ways of expanding the system and its marketing and use.
Trends in poultry farming
In the poultry farming area, the innovations focus on optimisation of drinking water supply and exact dosing of liquid feed additives. With feed additives the aim is to reduce the susceptibility of day-old chicks and poultry of all age-groups to pathogens through stabilisation of the gut flora. Furthermore, one innovation focuses on the most possible stress-free transportation of the animals, particularly at the processor. This shows that new-type modular designs of “transportation units” can have a multitude of positive effects.
From the registrations for EuroTier 2016 it was very apparent that the theme “Water” would receive special attention in the innovation solutions section. Be it in the drinking water area, where automatically-induced rinsing processes, continuous monitoring of the water quality and alarm functions, for example, for lack of water were realised. Or in the use of water for cleaning and disinfection, here the path leads to fully-automated cleaning analyses and/or to solutions which make cleaning work considerably less tiring.
Constant monitoring of stable air quality has failed up to now, especially when recording noxious gas concentrations, above all with continuous operation sensory systems with sufficient precision. This also seems to be a thing of the past.
Overall, the selected trends very clearly show that – as ever – a visit to EuroTier 2016 is one of the most profitable decisions of the year.