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Farm Health Guardian provides update on progress with Saskatchewan pilot project

By Bruce Cochrane, Farmscape & Lynn Redl-Huntington

A study underway in Saskatchewan will provide pork producers in Saskatchewan a clearer idea of which swine transport vehicle movement tracking technology works best on their farms.

Guelph-based Farm Health Guardian and Sask Pork are collaborating on a pilot project to assess the performance of technologies designed to track swine transport vehicle movements.

Farm Health Guardian CEO Rob Hannam says Saskatchewan has remote locations, cell service can be spotty and not every barn has WIFI so not all technologies work on all farms.

“There are 26 different pig farms that volunteered to be part of the pilot. What we did is we placed different technologies, different devices in 10 different trucks that go to those farms on a regular basis just so we could monitor do those devices work on those 26 farms? Livestock trailers are identified as one of the risks in biosecurity. Disease can move through the air, it can move from pig to pig but when pigs move, they move on a truck so the trucks and whether they're cleaned out or not or whether they're washed or baked, those are important factors and so monitoring those livestock trucks is quite important,” explained Rob Hannam, CEO of Farm Guardian Health.

Hannam’s passion for agriculture was cultivated while growing up on his family’s grain farm in Guelph, Ontario. He has worked in agriculture for over 30 years and has proven experience in building innovative businesses. He is also President of Synthesis Network, where he leads a team of marketing communications professionals who push the boundaries of agri-food leadership and innovation. 

Hannam noted, however that if there is a disease outbreak, it's more than just the livestock truck.

“It's the feed truck, it's the maintenance truck, who else was on the farm so we're trying to link that whole network together. To do that we need to also respect the confidentially and privacy of those different haulers. Maybe it's fed company A and feed company B, they both might be implicated here but we have to keep that data confidential and separate. So, we're just recording the movement on and off of the farm property, that's it. We're not recording the truck route, it's just that simple on and off because that's all we need to know if they were there or not during the incubation period of a suspect disease,” added Hannam, who provided an update on what’s new in protecting your farm at the 2022 Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium in Saskatoon in November.

Hannam said that, so far, some of the technologies have worked and some have not.

He said that those that haven't worked have been shelved and others are being assessed and, in a few months, we'll have a better idea of the two or three things that work reliably in Saskatchewan.

At the time of the announcement of the project, Sask Pork General Manager Mark Ferguson remarked on the benefits for producers.

“Pork producers in Saskatchewan, and the entire pork industry, will benefit from the evaluation of the data and results of this pilot,” says Mark Ferguson, Sask Pork General Manager. “The project will include testing local area network (LoRa) technology, which is a specific opportunity for Saskatchewan due to differences in the telecommunications network in the province. It will provide participating producers with information at their fingertips to easily improve biosecurity.”

Source : Saskpork

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