Agco recently acquired Faromatics, a precision livestock farming startup from Spain founded by five founders in 2016. I remember attending their presentation at the 2019 FIRA when I first learned about the company. Their mission is providing smart robotics for intensive poultry farms. Their claimed ROI of 14 – 20 months is impressive. They aim to achieve that ROI by better digestion management, early decease detection, reduced mortality, finetuning of climate control and reduction of bruises. This should (claimed late 2019) result in € 60,000 extra profit over five years.
The key to this is their ChickenBoy ceiling-suspended robot that monitors broiler chickens and helps farmers increase animal welfare and farm productivity. ChickenBoy uses a complete set of sensors to measure thermal sensation, air quality, light and sound. It also uses artificial intelligence (AI) to identify risks to health, welfare and farm equipment. They’re not the first and certainly not the last smart farming startup to be acquired by a major company or multinational. What intrigues me however, is that Agco acquired Faromatics. Why them? They’re a major tractor and machinery manufacturer with of course GSI grain storage and conditioning equipment but, as far as I know, no cattle, pig or poultry barn and stable or animal welfare equipment. I’m keen on any insights on this.