R. Bras. Zootec.01/May/2017;46(5):452-69.
A glimpse of the future in animal nutrition science. 2. Current and future solutions
Despite tremendous advancements in the livestock sector, additional opportunities exist to improve even further livestock production around the globe. Forecasting is not an exact science and it relies heavily on past and current knowledge. Improvements in the nutritional sciences (both human and animal) include a better understanding of agents that cause deterioration of human health, improving the quality of animal products, applying effective fetal programming, developing new feeds and feeding strategies, and revisiting longstanding technologies. Improvements in the understanding of the rumen microbiome will enable scientists to increase the fermentation efficiency and, hopefully, select microbial species of greater interest. Improvements in remote sensing and ground-based instrumentation, telecommunications, and weather forecasting technologies will aid in the continued improvements of early warning systems to assist livestock producers in reducing risk and adapting to the changing environment. Broad utilization of sensor technologies will allow scientists to collect real-time data and, when combined with mathematical modeling, decision support systems will become an indispensable managerial tool for livestock production with the possibility to automate low-level decisions on the farm, such as supplementation schedules, sorting of animals, and early detection of disease and outbreaks. The identification of feed efficient animals may be the single most impactful advancement towards long-term livestock sustainability and the promise of feeding the world animal products. We contend that education across societal levels is the first step to solve current and future challenges of the livestock industry. The dilemma has been who will take the first step forward.