Predicting meat cuts and carcass traits of beef on dairy calves through 3D images of live animals

PI: João Dorea

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Dorea is an assistant professor of animal and dairy sciences at UW–Madison who specializes in precision agriculture and data analytics. He has been working extensively on the development of top-notch applications of artificial intelligence to optimize farm management decisions and improve animal nutrition and health.

Crossbred (beef x dairy) animals have become an important source of income for dairy farmers due to the higher market price of crossbred calves. However, carcass traits and meat cuts from beef x dairy carcasses are frequently reported as lacking quality and shape uniformity. One strategy to overcome such limitations would be to develop technologies that quickly predict carcass and meat cut traits prior to harvest. The objective of this project is to develop a computer vision system capable of predicting carcass and meat cut traits based on 3D images of live animals. This will create new means for meat quality evaluation in live animals and will generate a powerful management tool for dairy and beef farmers in Wisconsin and the United States. A high priority research need will be addressed by creating farm management solutions based on artificial intelligence to increase market value of beef-on-dairy animals. This project aligns to Dairy Task Force 2.0 recommendation #19 (‘Capital for new and emerging technology’).

Publication in the Journal of Animal Science – September 2022

Publication in Translational Animal Science – June 2023