Cargill offers big data, digital tools to help shrimp farmers

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(Bloomberg) -- Cargill Inc. plans to offer big data to boost shrimp production, expanding technology tools that bolster agriculture to aquaculture.

Predictive software that relies on machine learning and sensors will help farmers analyze everything from the size of shrimp and feeding patterns to water quality and weather on devices including phones and tablets, executives from the Minneapolis-based company said Monday.

Cargill, one of the world’s biggest agriculture companies, has been harnessing big data used across diverse industries and applying it to farming. In January, the company said it was backing an Irish startup that uses facial recognition to help increase milk output from cows. Last year, it offered an application providing reams of data to make the animals more comfortable and productive.

“This is really helping farmers to make faster and more informed decisions,” Neil Wendover, Cargill’s digital insights product-line director for aquaculture, said in a telephone interview.

The company plans to offer the technology to tilapia and salmon farmers in the coming months, he said.

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