TSi Allows Better Insight into Whole Business
Before buying the TSi , sheep and beef farmers Michael and Beth Moore could only give their buyers an estimate of each animal's weight. Now they can market to their buyers much more accurately, they've cut down on the bookwork and increased their animal and paddock performance. The TSi also means individual animal information is available to everyone on farm - not just stored in Michael's head!
Michael and Beth Moore have improved traceability at their sheep-beef operation using the TSi system.
When Michael and Beth Moore moved to well-known Tenterfield, NSW, property 'Aberfeldy' in 1996, they immediately began installing electric fencing.
Aberfeldy is mainly a beef-sheep operation,but the Moores also run some goats on the undulating 3,232 hectare property.
Michael says, “We had limited means of putting cattle in a paddock and keeping them there, because it’s sheep country and the dilapidated fencing was too low. We needed something quickly, that would do a fair distance, and was economical, so we went to Gallagher.”
The Moores installed several MX7500 units (Gallagher’s largest Energizer), and worked with David Clothier (Gallagher’s Northern NSW and Southern Queensland Territory Manager) on setting up the fencing. “David’s recommendations included where it should be put to earth. You can count on him to be there. A simple phone call and whatever problem you have, he’ll fix. He’s very reliable. Over the years, we’ve been working to totally electric-fence the entire property.”
Vastly improved animal management
Along with 2,000 Merinos, the Moores run 800 breeder cattle (Brahman-based with Charolais Brangus, plus a couple of Hereford bulls they put in last year). They supply all their own replacement heifers, with steers mostly going to the best market at the time.
“We run a business in sheep and cattle. To make that work these days you need a stringent plan. Our plans here are to have a properly fenced property, and produce an animal that satisfies whatever market we’re aiming at.”
Wanting to improve animal records and management, the Moores bought a TSi from Gallagher, along with 3.5 tonne weigh bars and a Handheld Electronic Reader HR3 for scanning EID ear tags.
“Buyers want certain weights of cattle,” Michael says. “We can give that to them now, whereas before we would say, ‘yes, they’re around that’. Now we can market more accurately.”
The 'all-in-one' system is a vast improvement on “...having to hook up our previous scales, wait for the animal to settle down and not move too quickly or touch the sides."
Data for all to see
Like any farmer, Michael tends to hold a lot of individual animal information in his head. The TSi means any member of the family can do cattle or sheep work and not miss anything - such as previously empty cows or those in withholding periods. “We can go through the TSi now and everyone knows exactly how many Brangus steers we have, for instance. If a buyer comes along, we can say, ‘this is how many we have, and these are their weights’.”
Animal and paddock performance
“Not only that, we can work out which ones are putting on more weight. We can check the performance of ones we’ve bought in against what we are doing ourselves."
“We can also see what paddocks they’re performing better in. If they haven’t been putting much weight on in one paddock, compared with historically, maybe we should top up the fertiliser or do a bit more work on it."
“Previously, we only weighed when we absolutely had to and we hadn’t got down to the individual level. We’d do a mob and put them back in the paddock. We had no idea how much weight they were putting on, but now, every time the steers come in they are weighed automatically, so we can see exactly and put them into whatever market we want."
Traceability is another advantage.
“When you’re treating animals, you can also enter the batch number. Say that a 7-in-1 vaccination batch was compromised, you can track it; it’s all there. It’s all about traceability now for everything.”
Originally Michael thought data entry would be cumbersome, now he says it’s a breeze.
“It’s brilliant. I thought to start with, putting everything on there was going to be a long, drawn-out process. But by the time Beth had given the vitamin injection and I had mouthed them, our daughter had already entered what they were, age, calving history, treatments, everything. It was all done very quickly.”
Michael says there’s a definite positive effect on the bottom line too.
“What you save by just picking up those animals that don’t perform and concentrating on those that do, the whole system more than pays for itself. The TSi has made running the whole organisation so much better. Before it was all bookwork: all we do now is scan the tag and all the history is right there in front of you.”