“To demystify the application of technology in the field is important for the adhesion of cattle farmers…”
Laerte Cassoli is the CEO of Rúmina, agronomist, holds a M.Sc degree in farm management and a Ph.D in milk quality from the Higher School of Agriculture “Luiz de Queiroz”, of the University of São Paulo. He participated in the construction of Clínica do Leite (Milk Clinic), part of the Brazilian Network of Milk Quality Laboratories. He holds an MBA in business management from USP and technology applied to business from PUC.
Cassoli is also the founder of OnFarm, a startup focused on mastitis control that integrates Rúmina, an ecosystem of digital solutions for dairy and beef cattle farmers.
AgriBrasilis – What is the role of digitalization of dairy farming and what is the contribution of artificial intelligence?
Laerte Cassoli – digitalization is a reality in Brazilian agribusiness in general and in dairy farming. In this scenario, management softwares and artificial intelligence algorithms are allies in the quest of farmers for optimizing the routine in the field.
Technology makes it possible to understand the behavior of zootechnical indices and their impacts on productive efficiency, measure the effectiveness of the actions taken and predict diseases and trends in the herd.
Pressure to produce food in a sustainable way has increased, especially in livestock. We must increase productivity using the same resources, ensuring less environmental impact.
An example of this is RúmiScore, an independent benchmark for productivity and sustainability in dairy farming, with the participation of more than 1,100 farms in Brazil. The tool helps the farm to compare indicators with other properties in the region. The farmer is able to assess the points of improvement that can be adopted. Interested farmers can access the website: rumiscore.com.br.
AgriBrasilis – Is it possible to estimate the chances of curing an animal with mastitis or to predict the risk for granting credit? How accurate are these predictions?
Laerte Cassoli – At Rumina, we have an example of the application of artificial intelligence to control mastitis. Embedded in the OnFarm app, a microbiological culture system on the farm, our artificial intelligence helps the farmer to identify the causative agent of the disease in the herd. The tool analyzes the photo uploaded in the app and indicates whether there is a pathogen present in the sample and what the agent is. The algorithm was trained and validated by a team of experts and takes into account the shape and color characteristics of bacterial colonies. In addition, from a database of more than 400,000 mastitis diagnoses, the animal’s “chance of cure score” is calculated (low, medium and high), and which treatment protocols would be efficient from the data gathered by the community of farmers that use OnFarm.
Concerning credit, we use an algorithm to evaluate the information exchanged with the dairy, such as the volume of milk delivered, somatic cell count and supply time at the dairy farm, with information provided by the borrower himself, such as the racial profile of the herd and volume of milk generated by the farm. The algorithm classifies whether the farmerfits the qualities A through E. In category A, he receives our best interest rate.
AgriBrasilis – Digitalization in dairy farming is still little explored. What is missing to increase adherence among cattle farmers?
Laerte Cassoli – To demystify the application of technology in the field is important for the adhesion of cattle farmers. Many still believe that the implementation of innovations generates high costs, with results only in the long term. It is important to disseminate the results and benefits of digitalization of dairy farming so that farmers know that the technology bears promising results.
A business is only prosperous when it meets the needs of its customers. In this scenario, digitalization will impact the entire chain. Production requirements in terms of quantity, quality of the final product and means of production will grow and technology will gain even more relevance in the sector.
AgriBrasilis – Rúmina offers credit through partnerships with large dairies, anticipating resources for cattle farmers. Who are the company’s partners?
Laerte Cassoli – Credit granting is based on a specific analysis model for the dairy sector, taking into account the productive profile of each farmer. Hiring is done by WhatsApp quickly and simply, such that credit is made available to the farmer within 24 hours, without the need for guarantees.
The brand currently has partnerships with six large dairies – Vigor, Verde Campo, PJ, Scala, Cruzília, Lac Lelo, Catupiry and Agnuslat.