Breedr is a technology company aiming to reduce the carbon impact of meat production by digitising the global livestock supply chain. The company is an award-winning developer of a global trading platform for fully traceable meat and livestock. Using the Breedr app and ear tagging system, farmers can monitor individual animals from birth to sale, recording everything from lineage to feed and animal health records, before listing livestock on the Breedr marketplace.
Thanks to Rebecca Small from CIEL Member Breedr for writing a blog offering her insight and experience on why data recording is essential for your farm.
Traditionally on farm decisions were made based on experience and instinct, but what do the figures say? Smarter data-based decisions can help you improve all aspects of your business striving towards a more sustainable and profitable future.
However, the word data turns many people off, including farmers. When you have many different jobs to do, collecting and storing yet another bit of information can seem like a chore. There can be hurdles to data collection and use, which is why the Breedr app might just be what you need.
Nowadays technology such as apps like Breedr can really help to make data collection and analysis easier. Simple tools like a virtual medicine cabinet, quick weigh sessions and practical performance reports help you make more informed decisions.
Where to start?
Pinpointing the key pinch points within your business will help with data collection. Start by breaking it down and really thinking about the specific data that will bring your business the most value – the easy wins.
Some of the metrics to consider collecting:
- Daily Liveweight Gain (DLWG) – weighing cattle and monitoring DLWG is important to ensure your animals are efficient. Those that are not growing at their target DLWG may have underlying illness or their nutrition needs to be addressed. Regular weighing can highlight this quicker.
- Mortality – understanding the causes of mortality can then identify trends where animals are lost, and you can focus on improvements in this area.
- Days to slaughter – reducing days to slaughter improves the efficiency and profitability of your herd or flock.
- Cost of production – calculating cost of production is important to understand if your farm system is profitable and you will be able to identify areas for improvement.
Once you have decided on the top metrics you want to measure, think about how best to achieve this. Although this might be a bit of change to your current system, a small investment in infrastructure and time really could help you reap the benefits by getting cattle ready for slaughter quicker, increasing the number of calves to sell or reducing your medicine use.
When using Breedr, your data is yours to do with what you wish and will never be used without your permission. Sometimes facing the reality of your data isn’t always easy to digest and you can choose to keep it private. Industry targets might seem impossible to achieve but working towards this overtime is ok. It could be that you aim to reduce mortality by 2% each year.
Currently 4000 farmers use Breedr to track their livestock from regular weighing to feed intake to breeding information. We also use several tools to find the best improvements for our app. The most important is farmer feedback; the entire team read reviews of the app and the scores that accompany them. We use this invaluable information to drive our product development. We also have several tracking tools that allow us to see which features farmers are using the most in the app, including how and when they use them.
Together these tools help us to ensure we are investing in the right parts of the app.
Breedr joined the CIEL network in 2018 and has enjoyed being a valuable Member of the CIEL Network. Throughout this time, Breedr has had funding opportunities signposted by CIEL, opportunities to collaborate with other industry partners and access to world class academic expertise and facilities. The Data Focus campaign is another way for Breedr to collaborate with CIEL and its Network.
To find out more about how Breedr can help you to become more profitable and sustainable for the future have a look at the Breedr website or, to get started, download the app from your app store.
CIEL is really pleased to bring you insight on making the most of data from experts across the CIEL Network over the next couple of weeks. Keep checking back on the CIEL blog pages regularly, or follow CIEL on Twitter and LinkedIn for a heads up on new instalments on this mini ‘data discussion’ series. CIEL would love to hear your views and experiences too, so drop a line on the enquiry web form.
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