The folks at BIO (Beef Improvement Opportunities) in Ontario have been busy creating web-based products and services to complement its web-based bioTrack record-keeping system for beef cattle, sheep and goats.
Go360|bioTrack unleashes producers from desk duties with a mobile version that works on any smartphone, even in places without Internet or cellphone connection. It was launched in September and recognized in November with one of Ontario’s 2015 Premier’s Awards for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence for new products or adding value to existing products that support a sustainable environment, job creation and economic growth.
Go360 isn’t an app, so it doesn’t permanently take up space on your smartphone. It is a mobile version of bioTrack that makes your browser act like an app. From a location with Internet or cell service, you would log into your secure account to download the information you want and then set the smartphone in disconnect mode. This keeps the information in the browser so you are able to access information and record events such as calvings, weaning, weights, vaccinations and other treatments as they happen without using data until you enter a service area and upload the changes to your account.
Closing the tab removes the information from your phone.
Calving is a great example of why producers like the idea of using a mobile version of this software. Instead of entering births in a pocketbook and maybe looking back if a problem arises or later recording the details on a computer, the information is immediately entered into Go360 and automatically incorporated into your bioTrack account to supply the analysis and reports used in making management decisions.
It can also play a role in marketing your stock by keeping tabs on traceability and health records, feeding rations and performance statistics. Then wherever Internet or cell service is available, the animal’s record or photo can be pulled up and emailed to a potential customer. Go360 also tracks sales and additions as they occur to constantly update your inventory numbers.
BIO’s new motto, “bridging intelligence” is about using everyday technology to make information retrieval easy, accessible and secure so that it’s available whenever and wherever you need it.
BIO general manager Mike McMorris says profitable decisions come from knowledge, knowledge comes from information, and information comes from data. Livestock producers tend to keep data here and there in notebooks, calendars and various software programs; however, the bottleneck seems to be pulling it together into a format that’s useful for decision making.
He describes bioTrack as a whole-farm management system. It includes functions for animal identification and recording each animal’s breeding, genetic evaluation, health, performance, carcass data, economic breeding value and other details useful for herd management. It can also keep track of marketings, transport for traceability records, and share appropriate information within a value chain.
There are desktop software programs and apps that take care of one or more of these record-keeping chores but they may not connect with technology you already use to push or pull information from other sources, analyse the data, run comparisons and format reports, or automatically update and back up your data, explains McMorris.
The full bioTrack program and optional Go360 offer all that and, when the required data is available, produces within-breed and across-breed genetic evaluations for each animal based on its genetic and economic merit to predict the profitability of its progeny (Canadian Cattlemen, October, 2013).
The program also automatically uploads animal identification information to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency’s database every six hours and BIO works closely with BIXS to ensure easy flow of information to where a user wants it to go, he adds.
The full bioTrack program is offered by annual subscription and readily available to producers across North America and worldwide, for that matter, although language and time differences could present challenges in some locations. Go360 is an optional upgrade for bioTrack clients who want the mobile version.
The bioMarket program introduced last June is a web-based marketplace for advertising and selling animals and products without having to set up your own online store.
The bioLinks program launched a year earlier after adding a processing module to the sales and inventory tracking system purchased from Alberta Agriculture. It is used by processors and retailers to link animal information from farm to fork and has found uptake from other sectors, such as chocolate makers and kitchen cabinet manufacturers, as well.
To ask about any of the programs or sign up for a free bioTrack webinar or trial, visit bridgingintelligence.com or call toll-free 1-855-246-2333.