Artificial intelligence helps farmers make informed decisions

Hatchery International Staff
November 29, 2018
By Hatchery International Staff
Canadian aquaculture technology firm XpertSea has launched new technology for shrimp farms that leverages data to provide insights for more effective farm management.

The new XpertSea Growth Platform is a "game-changing technology that automates data collection and provides unprecedented insights so that shrimp farmers can make informed data-driven decisions and maximize farm profitability," a statement from the company said.

Shrimp farmers face production challenges, such as understanding what's happening to their shrimp stocks, preventing diseases, ensuring weight gain with an efficient feed conversion ratio while maximizing pond yield, and meeting customer orders on schedule. They have mostly relied on inefficient manual quality control and visual inspection to make decisions that impact their revenues, XpertSea said.

The XpertSea Growth Platform is being presented as a solution to these challenges with technology that allows farmers to collect animal data easily and often, discover and address problems early, optimize feeding regimes, predict growth, and choose the best time to harvest, the company said.

"Unlike solutions that require manual data entry, the XpertSea Growth Platform builds on the capabilities of the XperCount, a portable 'smart bucket' that uses optics, computer vision and machine learning to count, size, weigh and image aquatic organisms, at the press of a button. The Growth Platform leverages this data to provide actionable business insights, on a web-based dashboard that shrimp farmers can access from any device, anywhere," XpertSea said.

Some of the Growth Platform's benefits include:
- The XpertSea Growth Platform tracks growth from Day One in the hatchery through nursery, grow-out and harvesting. Taking no more than a few minutes per day, the Xpercount feeds automated organism data such as size and weight to the artificial intelligence (AI) platform which results in precise data about daily growth rate, feed conversion ratio, stocking density and survival rate, among others. That means farmers make informed decisions about feeding regime and health supplements, and identify problems related to poor pond conditions or disease early. With one glance at the dashboard, you get a complete picture of how your production is doing.

- Leveraging deep learning and AI, the Growth Platform predicts future organism size, their weight distribution and pond composition. The harvest optimization tool then calculates factors such as average weight, weekly growth rates, and current market prices so you can better plan harvest times. You can even add the cost of staff and feed to get a complete profit forecast for the season. This results in a data-driven scientific approach to picking the best harvest date based on peak time to sell organisms to obtain maximum revenues, while respecting engagement with food processors and end clients.

- Leverage industry benchmarks to improve your growth ratio: XpertSea has accumulated millions of data points on shrimp growth, provided voluntarily by farmers around the world. By benchmarking their growth against this anonymized, aggregated data, producers get a better understanding of what they can change to improve their performance. Whether it's buying better broodstock, choosing different feeds or adding animal health additives, the XpertSea Growth Platform help farmers optimize their formula, harvest after harvest.

"The XpertSea Growth Platform is a new concept in aquaculture that has the potential to unlock significant yields for farmers. It replaces manual data entry with smart aquaculture equipment, artificial intelligence, and industry benchmarks," said Valerie Robitaille, CEO and co-founder of XpertSea. "Many farmers are still using their 'best guess' to decide when to harvest. With the XpertSea Growth Platform they can use reliable data and growth predictions to plan the best harvest date and maximize revenues. It's all about making more with less."

The XpertSea Growth Platform is now available for both shrimp and fish farms and hatcheries. It's also configured for health, feed and genetics companies that wish to gain insights on their product efficiency at the field level, the company said. The platform is currently deployed successfully in more than 250 sites in Ecuador, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Vietnam, among others.

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