Cargill Cows Facial Recognition and Net Farm Income Down
**Cargill has taken a minority stake in Cainthus, an Irish startup that uses facial recognition software to increase the productivity of dairy cows.
As reported on agweb.com, Cainthus uses machine-learning and imaging technologies to identify cows and glean animal information like behavior and feed consumption.
The software provides analysis of both dairy and beef cows in facial/body identification, lameness detection, livestock activity and feed intake.
**Not surprising, but not the news farmers wanted last week, after the USDA released its net farm income forecast for 2018, and it could be the industry's worst in over a decade.
USDA anticipates net farm income, a broad measure of profits, to decrease nearly 7 percent from 2017 to $59.5 billion, the lowest net farm income number since 2006.
Net cash farm income is also forecast to decrease down about 5 percent to $91.9 billion, the lowest level since 2009.
**After more than three decades of trying to isolate embryonic stem cells in cows, scientists at UC-Davis have been able to develop a new culture system allowing them to efficiently derive stem cells which has huge implications for creating genetically superior cows.
If researchers can generate gametes, or sperm and egg cells, from the stem cell lines, the ramifications are profound. Such "in vitro" breeding could decrease the amount of time it takes to produce cows with more muscle, more milk production, and less methane production, by decades.