Mass farming grasshoppers. A sensor that texts a farmer when a cow is about to give birth. And an intricate system that provides “mood lighting” for chickens.
These are just some of the technological breakthroughs unveiled at this year’s ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference 2017.
Each year, through Alltech’s Pearce Lyons Accelerator, inventors and entrepreneurs from across the globe get a chance to tout their late-stage startups in hopes of wooing the support of the Lexington-based company. If selected, Alltech helps the companies find additional sources of funding, assists in marketing, and even preps them to make even stronger pitches to potential financial backers.
Here are some of the highlights:
“Are my chickens happy? You bet they are,” said Greengage CEO Steve Parsons.
His company has created an LED lighting system that not only dims and brightens based on the weather, but also can sense the “mood” of the poultry. If sensors indicate the chickens are stressed, the lights will dim. Along with the energy-efficiency of the LED lights, and the ability to calm the nervous fowl, the system uses a clip-on method that engages the light without having to break or compromise the wiring.
While not considered a staple in Kentucky, grasshoppers are the most-eaten insect in the world.
“Grasshoppers are a great source of protein, and contain many essential amino acids,” said Dror Tamir, co-founder and CEO of Hargol, based in Israel.
Currently, a majority of grasshoppers are caught in the wild, and according to Tamir, efforts to farm the hoppers have been costly and inefficient. Hargol’s technique involves a specialized feeding system, along with a cage infrastructure that has reduced egg incubation from seven to two weeks. While Hargol’s intentions are to focus on areas of the world where grasshopper-eating is more accepted, Tamir is hopeful that this trend will transfer to the states.
“We think more people in the U.S. will learn to like grasshoppers, once they discover the health benefits,” he said.
Each year in the U.S, about $275 million is lost due to calves and cows that die during the birthing process. This leads to a lot of sleepless nights for farmers.
Moocall, an Ireland-based company, has created a sensor that will actually text a farmer when a cow is one hour away from giving birth.
“We have discovered that a cow will lift its tail in a real specific way when it is time to give birth,” said Emmet Savage, co-founder of Moocall. “Our sensor, which is non-invasive, gathers over 600 pieces a second.”
Here is more about this device:
To see more highlights from ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference 2017, check out the video below and click here.