August 1 2014 Latest news:
Shaun Lowthorpe, Business editor
Friday, July 4, 2014
A new software system developed by Beccles-based Three Rivers Veterinary Group is seeking to help cattle farmers make the most of their herds.
Three Rivers has developed the interactive Kingfisher programme - named after its logo - which it is set to officially launch at next week’s Royal Norfolk Show.
The firm teamed up with Northern Ireland farmer and entrepreneur George Brownlee of Farmvet Systems, who had launched a similar service, to develop the specially tailored software.
Mike Bardsley, senior farm veterinary surgeon at Three Rivers said Kingfisher can link up with farmers’ existing software, but can also benefit cattle farmers who do not even use a computer.
The programme can input data from a range of sources including veterinary laboratories, milk recordings, farm management software, and abattoir records.
For beef farmers with no input from farm records it can provide analysis on mortality, days to finishing, calving intervals and replacement rates as well as analysis of the average age of heifers calving into the herd.
Meanwhile, for beef farmers with their own software it can add disease and culling analysis, and more detailed information on growth rates and feed conversion, and fertility performance. Mr Bardsley said: “Quality farm assurance schemes have been seen as the way forward to increase consumer confidence. However they are quite limited in their value for health and productivity analysis and farmers have understandably become wary of creating more paper based exercises which are onerous and time consuming.
“There is a need for farmers to have figures at their finger tips as it’s difficult to deal with all the paperwork. It’s really important they know their productivity and where they are going For farms that haven’t got any computers, there is still quite a lot of information which you can get from cattle movements
We are working with a farm, which has it’s own programme.
“What we wanted to do was have these things available centrally so that we can analysis the date in a sensible way. It can quite often show trends or where there are problems. Lab results come straight into the system, so they will be able to log on to the website and see the results.
“All this information is drawn into the program with the farmer’s permission and is held securely so that it can only be seen by those to whom the farmer has given authorisation,” he added. The use of the program will be available to members of the practice’s Farm Health and Productivity Scheme (FHPS) and will be at no extra cost to those farmers.
Farmers who already use Three Rivers Vets for routine health, fertility and planning visits will also qualify for membership and use of the program at no additional cost.
The Kingfisher program will be launched at The Royal Norfolk Show where Three Rivers Vets have a stand - Number 277 on Avenue 10.
A father and son who joined forces to set up their own business are hoping to push the boundaries as their company goes from strength to strength.