North Waikato beef farmers Graham and Diana Smith are among a growing number of farmers using Electronic Animal Identification (EID) to assist with farm management and animal health decisions.
The couple, who farm bull beef on a 200 hectare property at Taniwha, near Te Kauwhata, started using this technology in 2004, after seeking advice from their local Gallagher On Farm Advisor.
Conventional eartags were always getting knocked off or covered in mud, says Graham.
“We were discussing this problem with Colin Ranby from Gallagher one day and he suggested we try electronic eartags.”
All bulls are now fitted with electronic eartags and when they come into the yards for drafting or drenching, electronic information from these tags is received by a panel reader mounted on the Smith’s SmartScale 700 weighing system. Weight information is then recorded and saved to computer using the MyScale Pro software programme.
The weighing and EID system is now a crucial component of the Smith’s animal health programme, and the accurate weight information is also useful when it comes to making farm management and marketing decisions.
But Graham believes the biggest benefits of EID will come when processors can relay detailed information on individual animals back to farmers. “From my point of view it’ll be great as I’ll be able to identify which animals are performing best and trace this right back to the supplier or breeder.”
Graham says the service provided by Gallagher has been top notch and he describes the user-friendly weigh scale technology as “magic”.