Livestock farming may be centuries old, but its methods of production are as modern as this year’s Apple launch. The industry has ploughed its own tech-heavy future, sowing the seeds for the next generation of farmers. Animal care takes its cue from that, and quite literally reaches beyond our own atmosphere.
The answer lies in every smartphone and most vehicles: GPS. You see GPS isn’t just for drivers receiving barked instructions from their cars or finding your way to your nearest coffee shop. A multi-use tool that assists industries as diverse as logistics, construction and catering, the satellite positioning service has benefited many a modern business. No huge surprise then that it’s impacted greatly one of humanity’s oldest: livestock farming.
Track and field
Never work with animals. That’s what some people say. But for others it’s their entire livelihood. There’s no debate that farming can be a tough and gruelling industry. To ease that challenging working environment, the industry has embraced modern technology to assist in the upkeep of their stock.
GPS tracking has enveloped stock management. For larger farms across the globe with vast stretches of land and large quantities of livestock, farmers have invested in stock management software to track their produce.
How does stock management help?
Programs that track animals from birth through to their purchase, livestock management software provides those who trade in animals with data crucial to their well-being. That’s financial analysis, metrics, performance and, yes, location tracking.
For farms with field-loads of produce, that’s invaluable data to assist in producing healthy, happy and profitable livestock. Operating a business that deals with hundreds – and sometimes thousands – of animals requires constant accessible information on every aspect of their status. GPS helps farmers track the herding habits of their livestock. They can use this information to tailor their landscapes, feeding patterns and habitat to the animals’ betterment.
Fields, feeding and data feeds
Take nutrition. Keeping livestock supplied with healthy, nutritious feed is essential. Using data management software such as Ranch Manager, farmers can now calculate all the variables of the process to gauge its success. That takes into account detailed feeding plans, amount of food consumed, animal weight, health and ultimately, profit from sale.
The software can take care of alerting the farmer to inoculations, due dates and breeding programs. Plus it can locate in seconds an animal that’s gone astray and wandered into neighbouring fields. That’s indispensable in preventing the spread of disease.
In addition, management software isn’t just about the livestock. It’s a system that can utilise satellite tech to check for crop damage, pasture growth and the health of the animals’ living space.
Smart farming for a digital future
Farming has changed irrevocably over the past generation. Livestock management is a digital answer to potential risks, reducing the likelihood of failure and future-proofing next year’s yield. It offers up a wealth of data, often available at the simple touch of a smartphone. It’s a huge shift from the traditional to the information age; a gear change that feeds into the working practices and planning of the farmer’s annual schedule – and what’s good news for farmers is good news for the worldwide communities that they support.
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