Read important information such as air temperature, humidity, water consumption, feed consumption, gas concentration and the weight of the animals in production in real time thanks to the sensors installed on the farms.
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This is made possible by Compass, a technology developed by the Quebec company Intelia. The goal: to enable better management, from agricultural production to the slaughterhouse, including the miller who provides feed to the animals. American giant Cargill even partnered with the Joliette-based SME after an attempt.
Intelia was founded in 1999 by Dominic Désy and Claude Bouchard. But it wasn’t until 2016 that they took the turn towards “agricultural artificial intelligence”. With her experience in electronics, the agricultural sector made her “vibrate”, says Mr. Désy in an interview.
“Six years ago, the term ‘artificial intelligence’ wasn’t the hottest term, especially in the agricultural space,” adds the Intelia, who also serves as President and Chief Executive Officer. The medium-sized company now employs around thirty people.
“We wanted to build a meaningful business, and as a service company, it’s very difficult to stand out from the rest and it’s extremely difficult to have a world-class competitive advantage. »
“If you’re creating your product catalog in a niche sector like livestock, I’d say it’s the best technology from Quebec,” he says. This allows us to conquer the world. Not less. »
Intelia’s technology collects on-farm breeding data via its platform and artificial intelligence to ‘optimize’ production and achieve better predictability. “What we do concretely is that we collect a packet of information in real time that comes from intelligent sensors,” explains Mr. Désy. We push this data into the cloud and analyze it with artificial intelligence. Then we recognize anomalies, for example, and predict the future. »
Who can benefit? First the grower himself, who will be able to identify or prevent problems with his herd. “The miller too, because we predict the weight of the coming animals,” notes Dominic Désy. If I am a miller and know this information, I can calculate the amount of feed I need to produce and thus make my activities more efficient. »
Weight predictions can also support planning in slaughterhouses. “If they know what’s coming – when the animal has reached the required size – they can determine when they’re going to slaughter the animals in a particular building. »
In addition, the decision to bet on poultry production is not accidental. “It’s a big production. It’s growing internationally. »
The base cost of installing this technology ranges from $3,000 to $6,000 per production building. The user then has to make a monthly payment that varies between $50 and $100. Intelia provides 24/7 surveillance.
Dominic Désy does not hide his ambitions. He wants to conquer the Asian and European markets. Currently, most customers are located in the United States. Intelia even signed a marketing agreement with Cargill, a food industry giant that produces and distributes grains for animal feed.
“They tested our system on their farms in Mexico for over a year. And after a year, the conclusion was that there was an advantage in using this technology. This led to the signing of a partnership with them. They came to confirm the superiority of our technology. »
This conclusion gives confidence to Dominic Désy, who wants to try elsewhere in the world. “Our challenge over the coming months is to attack growth in Europe and Asia while remaining active in Canada and the United States. »