97% of the Seedstock Beef Breeds in New Zealand are required to record traits and performance measures. The data recorded feeds into the Breed Society database for genetic evaluation. The data returned gives each animal an Estimated Breeding Value (EBV). EBV’s are the only metric genetic evaluation tool New Zealand farmers have when considering sire selection, heifer replacement, marketing and dollar values.
The challenge for our ‘time poor’ farmers is how best to record this data in the paddock and how to do this simply. Currently there is no software in place to enable data capturing in paddock - it is a manual process which requires time consuming data entry by the farmer or registry staff.
Performance recording across Breeds has dropped significantly in the last 10 years. The impact of the lack of data will reduce the accuracy of the EBVs resulting in poor on farm management decisions and will undoubtedly impact the farmers profit.
The cost of data recording in New Zealand can be as much as half an FTE. Farmers are frustrated by the manual paddock notebook and double handling of data when they just want to get on with more important tasks.
At PBBnz, we want to be able to record fates, weights and births in paddock in real time so that the database is updated accurately and immediately removing delays and errors. Not only is this a New Zealand wide problem but a hindrance forSeedstock Beef Breeders globally.
Our major challenges are:
- API access to the genetic evaluator BREEDPLAN
- Cost of implementation
- Lack of simplicity
- Data sharing required between a Breed Society database, the BREEDPLAN API and a proposed new innovation
- Lack of internet on farm. Any innovation needs to have a capability to upload data even when there is no WiFi connection.
An innovative solution to this problem would include:
- An app that works on Apple or Android devices
- Connection to the society database for real time information
- A fates tab to enter if an animal dies or is sold
- A weights tab to enter details from weigh scales or a manual calf weigh
- Capacity to capture birth details such as Dam Ident, Sex, Date of Birth and Tag Ident
- Accessiblility for more than one user at the same time
The desired result would be fast, simple and real time performance recording in paddock.
This would save the farmer time and in turn, money. It would remove the manual paperwork and increase the speed of data transfer.
We need to make our farmers lives easier - their time is important and is better utilised getting on with other tasks rather than consumed with manual recording.
This innovation will increase our performance recording accuracy thus increasing the precision of EBVs. This will allow the Breeder to make better genetic evaluation decisions on the spot.
The Seedstock producers role is to improve stock for the commercial farmer, thus improving New Zealand’s economic development. We are passionate about making our farmers lives easier and look forward to further discussion regarding making this possible.