Gone are the days where the pocket notebook and pencil are an essential part of your livestock operation. Livestock Management software is now a rapidly developing industry with a vast range of Apps and digital products available to farmers and advisors.
There are now tools to service all aspects of your livestock operations from holistic management software to specific tasks such as calve data entry, feed calculators, stud ABV registers and everything in between.
This blog focuses on the more holistic Livestock Management tools that cover all aspects of livestock production including:
The AgriWebb NoteBook is an end-to-end farm management solution that replaces traditional paper notebooks and desktop computer systems. Your paddock map is pre-loaded onto a tablet and the NoteBook allows movements and actions to be performed using simple “drag and drop” functionality. The AgriWebb notebook is production management software for sheep and cattle.
The AgriWebb Notebook is one of the newest products to enter the market and is gaining a lot of traction since it launched in early 2015. AgriWebb is an ideal solution for broadacre grazing enterprises who want to record Livestock data in the paddock directly into the Notebook on their tablet device.
Through taking a ground up approach, the AgriWebb Notebook enables producers to tailor the product to their specific needs in terms of maps, enterprises and records. The notebook is an easy to use approach for all levels of technology users to transition into a modern and consistent approach for recording and physical management tracking.
With the increasing use of contractors and casual labour in our industry, one of the most handy features of the AgriWebb notebook is the ability to print off farm maps for use by these staff, and indeed full time staff, noting where stock are, what paddocks are in crop and to what, as well as any other physical elements that you add to your farm map.
The six broad elements that make up the AgriWebb Notebook system, as can be seen on the website are: mob management; mob details; crop management; task management; rainfall records; and chemical inventory. The most refreshing thing about these modules, and indeed the entire Notebook, is its clear layout and ease of navigation. Being someone who can become frustrated in the paddock or yards, when things become clunky and hard to manage (and you have about 17 other things you need to be doing!), my interactions with AgriWebb certainly haven’t given me any cause for concern.
The Notebook has the ability to operate offline as well as full cloud syncing capabilities.
Pocket Pam 2
Pocket Pam 2 is a modular application made up of 12 sub-applications that allows you to enter livestock and farm records directly onto your mobile devices and sync it back to a central database for viewing later on your computer.
The Livestock module is for recording livestock events, movements, veterinary treatments, supplementary feeding, shearing, branding, breeding, purchases, sales, births, deaths etc.
The Pasture module is for recording your pasture covers, pasture growth rates and also pasture composition. Generate graphs of pasture cover, growth rates and a useful "Feed Wedge".
Pocket Pam is ideally suited to mixed operations that are looking for broad mob or paddock based management software, used by single operators or multiple users, all syncing back to the central database.
The range of modules included in Pocket Pam covers all the important elements
of farm management that producers would be interested in recording. Pocket Pam
2 is again, another option for replacing our written notebooks with a
consistent format and one that can be accessed from your mobile device, as well
as the main computer back at the office.
One if it’s strengths is that Pocket Pam 2 is compatible with both Mac and PC systems.
Pocket Pam 2 have a great little story on their page called ‘A Day in the Life of a
Modern Farmer’, which gives a real life scenario of the program in action on
what is a busy time in a large scale mixed farming operation.
You can view the 10 other Pocket Pam modules here.
Phoenix Livestock is a comprehensive livestock management system that is part of the Phoenix product suite. Phoenix Livestock is suited to livestock breeders, traders, feedlotters, as well as accommodating sheep and goat operations.
Phoenix Livestock is ideally suited to ideally suited to producers who want the ability to collect and manage individual animal data and/or whole mob data (the two can be used simultaneously). Phoenix has been designed to comply with NLIS industry standards, so that transfers between properties and off property can be recorded and exported to the appropriate offices.
A great element of Phoenix Livestock is the ability to run sensitivity style analyses based on your current production, comparing with what you aim to achieve, and project outcomes based on these such as the break-even point and potential profit margin.
Phoenix have a great demonstration video on Phoenix Livestock on their
website which can be viewed here.
Phoenix Livestock has a very clear layout and is easy to view data of any field without the need for opening multiple windows and requiring extra power, which is of great benefit in the instances when we’re running on battery power supply. The program also has a range of reports that can be generated and printed for use in the paddock or yards at different management events.
Phoenix Livestock is also compatible with all the major hardware (readers, indicators, panel readers etc) manufacturers, so can be easily used with existing gear.
Practical Systems Stockbook
Practical Systems (PS) Stockbook is a program that is designed around the tracking and management of individual animals. Developed initially for the stud livestock industries, it has the ability to capture all aspects of performance recording and production measurement relating to individual animals. Stockbook is increasingly being utilised by commercial producers as well as stud producers, for the performance recording, monitoring, classing and management of their enterprises.
Stockbook is ideally suited to you if producers who want to track the performance of individual animals, whether it is in a stud or commercial situation – the program can capture any data that you want to collect on animals.
Stockbook can seem overwhelming when you start out, with its wide range of options and fields for collecting data, but the array of these options is without a doubt Stockbook’s strength – anything can be put in. As with any data collection and management, it is only as useful as you make it and everyone has their preferences and requirements, so, although the capabilities will remain in the program it is not essential for every producer to use every field to make it work. It will work for you and what you want, which, in my experience in different operations has been brilliant and very easy to manage once you start using it on a regular basis.
Stockbook is compatible with almost all the hardware currently available on the market (wands, indicators, panel readers etc), which is a big benefit when there are so many new developments constantly occurring in the space.
The extraction of data from Stockbook is also very simple and can be produced in a range of formats specific to the needs of the data. Direct exports can be made into national databases such as Sheep Genetics, Breedplan and NLIS, as a range of Excel files for independent consultant or benchmarking use, and for on farm yard use (there is also the ability to generate ‘Yard Reports’, for clipboard use race-side if you’re working in powerless yards or prefer to have paper in your hands). A range of sample reports can be found here.
As there are a lot of overlapping features with these Livestock Management tools we suggest you read the Product Overview pages in detail and watch the videos to fully understand their capabilities.
Generally speaking if you run a broadacre livestock operation, AgriWebb seems to be a popular choice. However is you’re looking for more detailed individual animal recording tools, Practical Systems Stockbook is a highly integrated and comprehensive solution as well as Phoenix Livestock offering a comprehensive range of operations thats links directly to your financials.