SomaDetect, a precision dairy technology company, and Sustainable Development Technology Canada announced a funding partnership to pilot SomaDetect’s technology, an automated, in-line sensor that provides dairy farmers with information from individual cows to help improve management decisions, milk quality and health.
“We are thrilled to have SDTC join us and support the wild adventure that is SomaDetect. We are grateful to live at a time when everyone - our farmers, our government, our communities, our SDTC consortium partners, and technologists like us - care about creating the best possible food given the resources we have today,” says Bethany Deshpande, CEO of SomaDetect.
Throughout the global dairy industry, consumers, processors and governmental regulators are demanding better product traceability, higher quality food and more information about where milk comes from, the resources required to produce it, and assurances about the health and care provided to the cows.
Most dairy farmers do not currently receive data on the milk that they produce with the frequency they need. At most, they receive lab results from milk collected from individual cows once a month, or rely on manual veterinary checks, forcing many farmers to rely on averaged measurements from milk collection tanks and observational guesswork to make critical management decisions.
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Founded in New Brunswick, Canada in 2016, SomaDetect has produced a sensor with the capacity to provide farmers with daily information from each cow so they can diagnose diseases, eliminate contamination, manage reproduction, and increase milk quality. In turn, cows can have longer, healthier, and more productive lives.
The company anticipates that better management decisions also means less GHG emissions on dairy farms. Since milk production per cow increases, less cows will be needed. It is estimated that this project will result in a 5-8% reduction in associated GHG emissions on dairy farms or the equivalent to the energy produced by 55.3 Wind Turbines running for one year.
“The projects announced today will bring about the kinds of innovative cleantech solutions that we need in the fight against climate change. Our investment in clean technology not only helps reduce Canada’s environmental impact but also supports innovative Canadian entrepreneurs in getting their clean technologies to global markets,” says Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science and economic development
SomaDetect’s proprietary technology uses deep learning algorithms to process the information collected by their sensors and a user interface to communicate to farmers actionable data. This data helps to manage their operations, including several aspects of milk quality and herd health.
This project allows the company to scale its works with dairy farmers and industry partners across North America. The company will be installing their sensors and collecting data to build algorithms on dairy farmers first in North America and then globally.
SDTC will provide CAD $3.9 million to support this initiative.
“Canadian cleantech entrepreneurs are tackling problems across Canada and in every sector. I have never been more positive about the future. SomaDetect has created a sensor that will measure dairy quality, ultimately resulting in a 5-8% reduction in associated GHG emissions in dairy farms. This is equivalent to burning over 280 million pounds of coal,” says Leah Lawrence, president and CEO, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC)