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Date: 10/11/2017

Laurie and Clare Ngakai had been looking for a programme that would make tracking animal progress and reporting easier and faster, when an ad in Farmers Weekly for Tru-Test’s new MiHub Livestock Management software, caught Laurie’s eye.

They explain “We have been capturing weights and other cow data using the XR5000 weigh scale for a couple of years now. However, reporting required transferring the information from the weigh scale to a flash drive, taking this back to the office and manually manipulating it in a different programme to get some numbers to present to the directors and the managers.”

“I wanted the ability to visually present that information to them, so that we could all see where the other animals were sitting, like the 10% above and below. And also the numbers and what animals. Rather than a percentage, an actual number of animals, so we know where our shortfall is. MiHub lets me do this.”
 

“Laurie’s got a young stock management plan to have specific target weights that they should be meeting each month and an average daily gain. MiHub allows you to manually put this in so you can either work to industry targets or your own specific targets.”
 

MiHub Livestock Management Online Programme

“When we saw the ad for MiHub we downloaded it straightaway. It was no cost to us having the XR5000 and so we had nothing to lose” says Clare.

“It was so easy [to sign and get going with it]. It’s a great way to show records. Laurie brings the XR home and I upload the data and then we look at the graphs. A graph’s an easy way to show how the animals are tracking. We then print the PDF reports or screenshot the main screen with everything on it and email it out. It’s really user-friendly.”

Laurie continues. “It’s exactly what I initially wanted it to do and it’s also triggering a lot more things that we can now enhance or improve on. Rather than just group animals, we’re now looking at targeting specific animals, utilising the data to determine improvements we need to make to their diet or weight gains and things like that.”

 “In the past we just got our weight. As a number weight doesn’t mean much to you in conjunction with average daily gains, but when you plot it on a chart and you plot it against a target, you can see it forms a pattern. And looking at that pattern, you can go back to your weather or what your feeding regime is and you can say, okay, they’ve tapered off there and we had bad weather then or they’ve increased there because I’ve changed their diets. Going forward, we can start to identify patterns or shortfalls over given time periods. We'll then know this is coming up, this is what happened last year, this is what we can do to get in front of it. So yeah, it’s that visual thing.”

Clare adds “The industry guidelines come pre-loaded for the targets, like when they’re born, and when they finish off and go to the dairy platforms. It puts in the breeds and information like that. It’s all automated – you just click which one. Laurie’s got a young stock management plan to have specific target weights that they should be meeting each month and an average daily gain. MiHub allows you to manually put this in so you can either work to industry targets or your own specific targets.”

Communications and reporting made easy

Communication to management is now a lot easier and more informative. Operations Manager, Simon Hunt agrees.

“Since Laurie adopted MiHub we’re now getting pretty clear information, in an easy format. It’s also quick for me to jump into MiHub on my phone and see how they’re tracking in real time. For me, I want to see reports, trends and progress to targets – that’s what I’m interested in. I’d be rapt if I was a dairy farmer and my grazier was sending me this information.

For farm owners or people who have got skin in the game or in my role, it’s vital that we’re getting accurate information to justify the money we’re spending on grazing and/or leasing land.”

Laurie sums up his experience to far. “I’m a bit of a technophobe but have found it extremely easy to use, and without a doubt it has added a great deal of value to our business.”

 

For Laurie and Clare Ngakai, tracking stock to targets and performance reporting are easy tasks with the MiHub Livestock Management online programme.