When it comes to buying farming software not all products are made equal. This might seem like an obvious thing to say, but many of us would not have the faintest idea how to tell one from the other. Your core knowledge and skill set may be in other areas such as farming and livestock, not technology. Read on to read our top tips to consider when buying farm software.

There is a plethora of farm software brands out there. Some look good with fancy branding and glossy advertising, but might be limited in what they can do for you long term. Others look average and are even more clunky to use.

We are using all kinds of software more in our lives today, and we expect it to work intuitively. From Google to Dropbox, software is a part of our day to day and it must provide real value in our lives, and show a return on the investment we make in terms of time and money.

Beware the buyer who subscribes to farming software that is not right for them. Here are just some of things to look for when buying farm software:

  1. Select the right application for your business

When assessing the many farm management program options out there, make sure you can see real life examples of the software working for your operation. Whether that be livestock, grain or other enterprises, it needs to offer appropriate and deeply intuitive tasks required to suit that stream.

For example if you have livestock, do you manage livestock as mobs or individuals, do you have a system that can do both? How easily can you skip between tasks on the software?   Can you map your paddocks and see a complete history of records all. Try and have one platform that you can use for most of your day to day tasks.

  1. Look beyond today

Globally the Australian agricultural industry is renowned for being innovative and creating and adopting practices that will ensure business sustainability. At a local level, your business should be utilising and recording the information on farm today, to justify the decisions tomorrow. By using digital data management, you can use real time information and reduce double handling, increasing accuracy of data within your business. Ensure that the program you decide to purchase will still be beneficial to your business as it grows.

Read our blog on how to set up your livestock farm in five steps.

  1. Go mobile

Whether you use a smartphone or not, hand-held devices are here to stay. Over 92% of farmers in Australia own a smartphone. If your farm management software is not mobile optimised you are missing out on the real-time benefits on the farm and the insights it brings such as:

  • Creating eNVDs
  • Scanning animals with RFID wands and seeing the data on your phone instantly
  • Recording livestock movements in the paddock
  • Recording treatments and making that data visible to multiple users from the yard
  1. Assuming all Farm Management apps are made equal

Just because a farm management app might come up on your Google search regularly, doesn’t mean it’s the best one. Don’t be seduced by the fancy websites. Do your homework. Talk to your consultant, friends and peers in the industry to understand the key strengths and weaknesses of each. List out the key goals of your business and see if they align with what the farm management software has to offer. Better yet, call a sales consultant and set up a demo and a meeting where you can directly ask these questions.

Key take-aways:

  • Do your homework
  • Tailor the fit to your business
  • Get value for money

Are you looking for suitable farm management software for your livestock business currently? Contact us to set up an obligation free demo of Aglive’s IntegriPro today.

Learn more about Aglive’s eNVD software.

Who is the NLIS and why they matter to you.

If you are a livestock farmer, you want to be across who and what the NLIS is all about. The National Livestock Identification Systemis the process for the permanent identification and lifetime traceability of all livestock in Australia. We have broken down the basics for you so you can get your head around the ‘need to know’ info on this farming authority and what they mean to you and your farming business.

The NLIS is a system developed by the Livestock Production Assurance Program, sitting under Meat and Livestock Australia.

It is made up of three elements:

  1. The property identification or PIC number of the animal or the physical location.
  2. The device: The visual or electronic tag or brand on the animal.
  3. The database: The web-based storage for all animal data.

The system is used to record and track livestock movements primarily for disease control, biosecurity, food safety and market access.

Livestock can be identified either individually or by mob, depending on what is agreed by each industry sector.

Why you should take control of your NLIS account.

Livestock traceability is perhaps the most critical aspect of being a farmer and one that you should take seriously. It enables you to:

  1. Apply a quality assurance process for your product.
  2. Achieve the best price for it from buyers along the supply chain.
  3. Protect your livestock and business from biosecurity threats.

NLIS is Australia’s system for the identification and tracing of livestock. It is a permenant, whole-of-life tracking approach enabling individual animals to be traced from property of birth to slaughter for food safety, product integrity and market access purposes. NLIS provides the facility for livestock movements to be logged in a secure central database. It also provides other benefits such as allowing carcase feedback from abattoirs to be viewed by producers.

Here are four reasons to get NLIS right on your farm:

  1. Disease response

If in the event of an outbreak of animal disease in Australia, such as Foot and Mouth Disease, rapid tracing of animals is critical in any emergency disease response. The quicker animals are traced, the greater the chances of controlling a disease outbreak and minimising the costly effects on industry and its supporting sectors.

The NLIS tracing system means that outbreaks can be contained swiftly and minimises the number of properties affected by the disease.

  1. Chemical contamination

Perhaps a more common threat is chemical contamination. Australia’s export markets do not accept livestock products that exceed specified thresholds of chemical residues. This means that your product has limited selling power if it does not follow the rules.

Tracing cohort animals minimises the trade effects of such violations and ensures these violations are not repeated.

  1. Market access

Australia has an outstanding reputation with export markets for the quality of its livestock. This is driven by an absence of diseases and contaminants. Loss of market access could be caused by the effect of weak disease management and chemical contaminants.

There is a growing trend among Australia’s bigger export markets, who are demanding mandatory identification and traceability of Australian products from the property of birth through to the consumer. This is not possible without the NLIS.

Lifetime traceability can also be reinforced with your own record keeping. If you can keep your compliance paperwork organised, your biosecurity planning up to date and your standards high, you will be a much better position to access the big export markets.

  1. Reputation

We are one and we are many. We are an industry with an amazing reputation internationally as livestock producers but we are only as good as the individual.

Do your bit to keep the industry clean and know that you are helping to ensure overall marketability and top price for our product. An effective and recognised traceability system provides:

  • An insurance policy in the event of a disease outbreak
  • A competitive advantage over other producing nations with less comprehensive systems
  • Improved quality assurance protection for the good reputation of the Australian livestock industries.

Put simply, the NLIS is a safety system for tracking and tracing all livestock in Australia. If we all follow the rules, it will make for a cleaner, safer and healthier industry and export product overall.

Aglive’s IntegriPro software enables you to easily capture your livestock data without the need for manual entry, filing and paperwork. Simplifying and streamlining your compliance procedures will have you audit ready in no time.

Learn more about Aglive IntegriPro.

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Official Press Release

 

Game-changing farm management software company Aglive officially launched its IntegriPro® subscription package for all cattle, sheep and goat producers in Australia today.

This revolutionary software is poised to provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ for managing livestock accreditations and collecting of on-farm data, enhancing production management efficiencies and food traceability.

The Australian, Geelong-based, business is offering its Aglive IntegriPro® software system to all red meat producers for the Mob Basic package, with the option to up-grade via a paid subscription for more sophisticated features, including individual EID management.

Aglive IntegriPro® digitises on-farm compliance requirements with integrated farm accreditation paperwork capturing livestock and farm data onto one platform, via the cloud, to provide a completely portable, digital resource accessible via a user’s smartphone, tablet or desktop.

The app is a new version of the company’s former farmer software app, with added features for farm management and the completion of electronic National Vendor Declarations (eNVDs) and National Cattle and Sheep Health Declarations.

Unlike other farm management software on the market, Aglive IntegriPro® enables producers to complete industry and commercial certifications in one central spot, including unlimited eNVDs and National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) compliance.

Capabilities to complete Meat Standards Australia (MSA), European Union (EU) and National Feedlot Accreditation (NFAS) declarations are expected to be added in future releases.

Certifications are then automatically sent on to the next receiver in the food supply chain, whether that be saleyard, transporter, processor or feedlot, or they can be printed if needed. In December 2016, Aglive was licensed by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) as the first provider of an eNVD for use by producers and processors in Australia.

Aglive Managing Director Paul Ryan says the technology was designed to support product integrity and traceability for the red meat industry while also simplifying the process.

Producers can now manage industry declarations, see livestock lifecycle treatments, manage paddock movements and more, all wrapped up in one powerful platform, in the field, on a mobile device and via the cloud“.

“The platform allows you to manage your farm by mapping your paddocks, assigning animals, monitoring feed and treatments and integrates RFID wands for full animal traceability. This allows for improved stock inventory management, ownership audit and control. It provides a complete accreditation umbrella, capturing certifications on the one platform and sending them on to where they need to go.” Paul said.

Aglive recognises that producers and the red meat supply chain need to improve efficiencies and boost traceability as it moves from a paper-based system to a digital future.

We are the pioneers of this technology and Aglive IntegriPro® is the first and only digital software application in Australia to offer a completely paperless, Bluetooth service that integrates seamlessly with national quality assurance programs, to capture your livestock data” Paul said.

Learn more about Aglive’s IntegriPro.