After collecting all manner of data from beef cattle since 1996, Coolah’s Krissi Kuhn knows only too well the importance of having a streamlined data management system.
“For us, it’s important to have reliable software because we’re monitoring genetics and the production of those animals,” she says. “You can have it all in spreadsheets but it would take 10 times longer to manage and it’s hard to then correlate that information together.”
Krissi and her husband, Ralph – the local vet at Coolah – manage 700 Angus breeders and 3000 multi-purpose Merino ewes across 3238 hectares (8000 acres), based at “Allambi”. They began collecting data from their then-Murray Grey cattle herd in 1996 for a three-year Beef Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) project. They continued on with stringent data collection – partly to accommodate Ralph’s love of genetics – and have since made a transition across to the Angus breed to become members of the renowned Team Te Mania breeders’ alliance four years ago.
Krissi and Ralph began using Practical Systems’ Stockbook Livestock Management Software in 2000. They have used a well-known industry alternative livestock management program in conjunction with Stockbook for the past two years, but have determined their first choice was their best.
“There were so many things in this other program that I wanted to do but it just didn’t have the capacity to do it, whereas Stockbook could,” Krissi said. “It was important to us to have a program that would accept all data straight into it. “We didn’t want to have to import separate spreadsheets and again, only Stockbook could offer this.”
Krissi said Stockbook featured a practical design and was easy to use.
“We find the Live Entry in the yards to be brilliant,” she said. “It’s practical and there’s a lot more you can do manually, if you want to. You can pull up an animal onto the screen and everything about that animal pops up, including paddock history and production group.”
Krissi praised the support provided to clients by Practical Systems.
“They’re always helpful and efficient, and can use Teamviewer to come onto my computer remotely and see any issue I might have first-hand,” she says. “I can’t complain at all about their support.”
Krissi said they utilised livestock management software on-farm not only because it was their passion to have this level of understanding of their cattle genetics, but there was also a financial flow-on with better prices paid by lotfeeders for their cattle.
“I think improving your genetics is important and it you can prove genetic history, it will certainly help in selling females,” she said.