Posted on Sunday, October 14, 2018 at 12:00 PM
Record keeping is a task that is dreaded by some. However in an industry with tight profit margins, such as livestock production, efficient record keeping can be the difference between a profitable year, or one in the red.
There are many systems and strategies out there for livestock record keeping. The most essential thing is to pick a system that will work for you, and that you can maintain over the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.
All livestock record keeping systems should incorporate some basic elements. These pieces of the record will be essential no matter what system you use, and can help you make decisions for your business and track the progress of your herd over time. First, you may choose to separate your livestock records into production records and financial records. If your animals are in a herd, it may be easier to track feed expenses by the herd, or species, rather than the individual animal. Financial records will also include labor, marketing, and property expenses.
Production records will vary from species to species. Items to include on the production record are:
Speaking of feed, it’s important to record the types of grain, results of forage and silage analysis tests, and supplements you livestock herd receives in your record keeping system. Animal feed and nutrition play an integral role in performance and production, and accurate records allow you to consult with your nutritionist, and make the best possible decisions for your herd.
There are many different systems you can use for livestock record keeping. A paper record keeping system is always a good place to start, it’s simple and low cost. However, there are disadvantages. Papers can get lost, a spilled cup of coffee can have a disastrous effect, and you generally can’t utilize a paper record keeping system when you’re out working with your animals. An electronic record keeping system has the benefits of being hosted in the cloud for accessibility on your smartphone, and can be accessed by multiple farm managers if needed. There are many different electronic record keeping systems available, including customizable options.
Detailed record keeping systems reap many benefits for your livestock operation. You can track efficiency and find changes that could lead to improvements in your herd. Any record keeping system is better than none, start small and implement record keeping into your livestock business.
Profitable farming is something that farmers work towards every day. New technologies are introduced, and innovations re-shape how we approach an aspect of crop production... Read More →