Shrimp farmers can tap into what is dubbed as the first cloud-based solution in the aquaculture industry thanks to Cargill's iQShrimp. The predictive software uses machine learning and sensors to give shrimp farmers real-time visibility into their farm operations. iQShrimp is a first-generation offering driven by iQuatic, Cargill's digital platform for aquaculture.  

"Shrimp farming has inherent weather and disease risks," says Neil Wendover, digital insights product line director for aquaculture for Cargill, Minneapolis. "By working directly with shrimp farmers, our data scientists can use machine learning to deliver insights to inform decisions that directly impact the growth and economics of their operations."

The iQShrimp software captures data from shrimp ponds through mobile devices, sensors and automated feeders to record data about shrimp size, water quality, feeding patterns and health and weather conditions. The system then combines production and environmental information into a "live operations dashboard" to provide insights and recommendations, such as feeding management strategies and optimal harvest dates.

"Producers get a world-class software solution that is ready to connect to any device and provides the foundation for leveraging data as a competitive advantage without having to make a large technology investment," Wendover says.   

The technology can be tailored to meet the needs of local producers, and is available for producers in Mexico, Central America, Ecuador, New Caledonia, Southeast Asia and India, with plans to expand to other geographies in the coming months.

As part of its commitment to digitalization and analytics, Cargill collaborates with Internet of Things (IoT) partners and other industry disruptors to bring technology innovations to customers across species. Over the next several months, Cargill will expand iQuatic offerings to other species, including tilapia and salmon.

"Cargill will continue to aggressively grow its capability in the technology, digital and analytics space to help farmers make quicker, faster decisions that directly impact their productivity and profitability," says SriRaj Kantamneni, managing director for Cargill's digital insights business.  "We are changing the industry by using machine learning, algorithms and data science to deliver more accurate and precise information for our customers."

The iQShrimp launch comes on the heels of the company's introduction of Dairy Enteligen and its recent equity investment in Cainthus, a machine-learning vision company.