Founded in 1872, CRA-W is a scientific establishment under the Regional Government of Wallonia. Approximately 440 employees, among which 120 scientists, work at the CRA-W to support the Walloon farmers, stockbreeders, horticulturists, forestry producers and operators in the agri-food sector. Scientific research is focused on four main areas: precision farming and livestock farming, risk management and understanding of products.

CRA-W beneficiates from an extensive expertise in developing, validating, and implementing spectroscopic solutions to support agriculture, with a particular focus on precision livestock farming tools to help dairy farm management. Over the years CRA-W has accessed to large spectral databases and has developed an original spectral standardisation process. It has developed multiple infrared models related to cattle production, encompassing diet characterization, milk quality, animal health, efficiency, CH4 emissions and welfare.

Based on this expertise, the CRA-W will develop tools to increase the resilience of small and mid-sized dairy farms by the integration of spectroscopic models and different sensors. Furthermore, CRA-W operates a dairy experimental farm, providing the opportunity to conduct trials directly related to the HoliCow project and to test the new tools.

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Frédéric Dehareng, Scientific Collaborator

I am in charge of the dairy laboratory and the research team of the CRA-W, specifically working on the development of prediction tools using milk MIR spectra and finding solutions for standardizing FT-MIR devices within the EMR network.