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Evonik Porphyrio offers digital livestock solutions

26 March 2020, at 12:00am

In 2018, Belgium-based Porphyrio was acquired by Evonik to bring digital solutions to their Evonik Precision Livestock Farming division. The Porphyrio system is a complete cloud-based management system, making use of biostatistics and AI to process big data and enhance performance, reliability and accuracy throughout farming operations.

Kristof Mertens, co-founder and managing director with Evonik Porphyrio, speaks to The Poultry Site's Sarah Mikesell at IPPE in Atlanta.

“The vision of Evonik in acquiring Porphyrio is they needed a digital platform to build and capture the total value of precision livestock farming,” said Kristof Mertens, co-founder and managing director with Evonik Porphyrio. “First, you need data. On top of that, you need nutritional and health expertise to turn the buttons when you see something is going wrong. This fits in nicely with the vision of Evonik and Porphyrio’s vision of how to further market the system.”

Big Data Getting Bigger

Data is becoming bigger and bigger because the possibility of recording and storing data is everywhere, said Mertens. The use of sensors is growing. Because it’s a complex process, the variability can be huge. However, the more information that is collected, the easier it is to understand and decipher the variability. Because no two farms are the same, it’s important to collect information and start to look at patterns which will help each individual farmer.

“If you look at the DNA of Evonik Porphyrio, we're not an IT company; we came out of the university,” said Mertens. “We are a knowledge company, meaning we have livestock scientists, data scientists and programmers. From the process point of view, farmers and customers are looking to use the right technology to analyze and get to the best solution for their operations.”

Mertens said what he calls "agrificial intelligence" is needed to understand the process of collecting data on the chicken and its genetics, health and nutrition, and then provide modeling which can support the goal of production.

“In the end, the poultry production chain is organized based on consumer needs,” he noted. “The consumer wants to buy a certain type of chicken. The value chain needs to be organized to produce the right product efficiently,” Mertens added.