In 2007 we began the development of an in pen monitoring system for the cattle industry now known as GrowSafe Beef™ (GSB). GSB collects data from environmental and bio metric sensors each time an animal drinks. From this data we calculate an animals’ weight and gain, its health profile and performance. We also suggest best marketing dates for each animal.
GrowSafe Beef™ is an unprecedented ability in real time to:
- Continuously and automatically track animals – control inventory and comply with traceback reporting.
- Identify sick animals and poor performers – enhance animal well being and mitigate risk.
- Visually identify animals needing treatment or market ready animal – reduce labour.
- Measure and predict individual animal gain and market value – maximize profits.
Identifying Sick Cattle
Finding sick cattle is one of the toughest jobs a feedyard cowboy has. The usual means of assessing the health of beef cattle are subjective, involving visual evaluation aided by minimal clinical measurements. Several epidemiological studies have indicated that even with increased pharmaceutical use, the incidence of morbidity and mortality in feedyards has increased. The effectiveness of antimicrobials in the treatment of Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) depends primarily on early recognition and treatment. BRD manifests its economic losses cumulatively, through the cost of treatment, the cost of lost production, and death loss, emphasizing the importance of prevention and treatment as early as possible.
GrowSafe Beef™ proposes an optimal market date for each individual animal at a time when the cost of gain begins to exceed the value of gain. This is a new marketing concept for the feed yard. Typically the feedlot forecasts a number of days on feed for the entire pen, and markets all animals on the same day. GSB considers many variables but at least the following is built into the marketing decision model:
- Cost of gain – yardage and estimated individual animal feed intake
- Value of gain – market price and discounts for out weight carcasses
The system aggregates a truckload of cattle from monitored pens to optimize shipping.
The Feedyard Program
GrowSafe provides customers with a “turnkey” service program which includes:
- Installation, commissioning, and regular service visits.
- Guaranteed replacement of equipment in case of breakdown.
- Fixed, predictable monthly cost.
- Access to the latest feed yard technology without requiring sophisticated in-house IT capability.
- Remote monitoring of equipment.
- Periodic statistical process control.
- Industry bench-marking.