Electronic Animal Identification
October 12, 2004
Gallagher Trials Electronic Animal Identification With Landcorp
Deer on Landcorp’s Cape Foulwind farm in Westport are being fitted with electronic identification (EID) tags this month as part of a pilot scheme in partnership with animal management market leader Gallagher Animal Management Systems.
More than 1200 deer are being fitted with electronic ear tags and associated equipment is being installed in a bid to increase farm efficiencies and profit. This is the fourth EID pilot to be implemented on Landcorp farms and more are planned in the near future.
Landcorp marketing and purchasing national manager Phil McKenzie says EID systems have already been installed on commercial cattle and sheep breeding operations at Waihora Station near Taupo and Wingpoint dairy farm in Featherston.
“We are awaiting results from cost benefit analyses, which will be carried out in the next few months on all three operations,” McKenzie says. “Farm managers have already reported increased efficiencies regarding time and labour.”
Landcorp employed Gallagher as EID consultants two years ago.
“We wanted to create a complete EID system, including ways to use the data generated to add value. This involves using a number of products sourced from different manufacturers,” says McKenzie. “We couldn’t match the skill and knowledge held by Gallagher’s EID staff in creating integrated EID systems, so we asked them to evaluate and recommend the best solutions on specific pilot farms.”
The Cape Foulwind Farm was chosen to undergo the deer pilot because of its challenging physical environment and progressive and innovative management.
“Most of Landcorp’s deer are farmed in the South Island, so it will be easy for our other farm managers to view the progress and technology at Cape Foulwind.”
Gallagher EID systems are marketed under Gallagher Select Farm Systems, their recently launched sub-brand of advanced technology products and services.
Gallagher national sales manager Brent Pownall says as New Zealand’s biggest farmer, with 112 farms nationally and 1.4 million stock units, Landcorp has great potential to increase profits with EID.
“We’re not just talking about having an animal run past a reader and being recorded,” he says. “EID can lead to greatly increased recording accuracy, productivity and farm profitability, when integrated with electronic weighing, drafting, drenching and animal audit systems. These systems enable improved information gathering on individual animal performance, leading to more informed decision-making on farm to maximise output and profitability
Some prospective EID customers are daunted by the idea of integrating products from different suppliers into a complete system and making them work. Pownall says that Gallagher has an ability to supply the best combinations from a selection of in-house produced products with components from other suppliers that make up the ideal on-farm solution.
“The whole concept of Select is about doing just this, to offer farmers the most cost effective working solution. That’s what we’ve done for Landcorp and the results have been very good so far.”
Gallagher product manager Owen Boyes says Landcorp are well known for being innovative and always pushing technological boundaries.
“Landcorp has a strong focus towards operating more efficient farms and increasing profits for shareholders,” he says. “They are leading the way by trialing EID with different animal species on their most prominent farming operations.”