In life you can guarantee both time and technology won’t stand still, so here is a list with some more livestock farming apps brimming with time-saving tips for smarter farming.
What it does: Aims to help farmers and contractors produce better-quality silage that in turn will make their farming enterprises more profitable.
The app contains a calendar to aid silage planning, a supplier locater in the UK and Ireland and film clips covering diverse topics such as how to set up the wrapper, saving time, money and film, counting the number of layers of wrap on the bale and the advantages of wrapping bales with six layers of film.
Best for: It has a planner that guides farmers on planned cutting dates based on fertiliser application. It will also remind farmers when the grass should be cut.
Made by: CPD Sessions
User review: No user reviews available
See also: 7 must-have apps for dairy farmers
Beef and Lamb Lite
What it does: Gives beef and sheep farmers the latest market information, prices and trends at their fingertips.
The app allows users to fast-track to the most commonly accessed areas of the AHDB Beef and Lamb website, including events, news, Better Returns Programme (BRP) resources, how-to videos and localised weather reports.
Farmers can search for the nearest auction markets to compare prices, favourite specific markets for quick access and create their own personalised library of technical manuals. The app can be used even when there is no wi-fi or mobile signal.
Best for: Accessing the latest beef and sheep market information, prices, BRP technical manuals and videos while on the go, even in rural areas where internet access is poor.
Made by: Rade Digital
User review: “I was already using the AHDB Beef and Lamb website on my iPhone, but this app makes accessing the information so much quicker. I use this 80% of the time to check market data and local trade.
I can find the answer to any questions I have about beef or sheep myself on the BRP guides, no matter where I am on the farm. It cuts out a phone call to a consultant as you can find out the information instantly.”
Midlands farmer Alistair Woodward has a traditional mixed farm with 250 continental-cross cows and 300 ewes.
See also: 16 essential farming apps for 2014
What it does: TProvides nearly 100 short video clips of important tasks carried out on farm, provided by AHDB Pork. It covers breeding and wean-to-finish herd production, both indoors and outdoors.
The clips feature industry experts and farm managers explaining not only how tasks are done, but also why they are done and what impact that can have on pig productivity.
The app is organised into sections and topics range from gilt selection to colostrum management through to feeding post weaning and selecting pigs for sale.
Best for: A simple and engaging way for pig unit staff to learn key practical skills on-farm.
Made by: AHDB Pork
User review: “I use this as an introduction when new staff arrive as part of their induction programme. It is an extremely useful way for staff to learn basic information and it brings everyone to the same level. It is an easy system to operate.
We allocate time for staff to watch the videos, then they go on the farm with a trainer to put what they have learned into practice. There is a time-saving element, but the biggest benefit is there is no pressure on the staff who are using it.”
What it does: A mixed farm management program that tracks all farmer activity on farm. It is cross-platform software – working on smartphones and with Windows 8. It has up to 12 modules that track cropping, livestock, labour, inventory, rainfall, machinery and paddock information.
Best for: Tracking physical farm information
Made by: Farm Apps
Price: Pricing varies depending on the number of modules and devices included. A subscription for all modules and up to five devices is AUD$300 (£144)
User review: “Our business is spread out over three different properties and F-Track Live has revolutionised the way in which we are able to run multiple enterprises on a larger scale. We predominately run a cattle breeding programme and prime lamb enterprises in which stocking rate and livestock takes are crucial.
“It has allowed us to accurately record and communicate procedures with different staff members and keep accurate accounts of sales, births and deaths. The app has also been invaluable in determining stocking rates of paddocks and properties as animal requirements fluctuate throughout their breeding cycle.”
Australian farmer Will Onus runs 2,000 sheep and 1,200 breeding cows across 1,610ha.
Nadis Farmer Animal Health Skills
What it does: Features all major diseases affecting cattle, sheep and pigs in the UK. Information is covered in a bulletin format with images showing early clinical signs to watch out for.
The importance of veterinary health planning in disease control and prevention is highlighted throughout, encouraging dialogue between farmer and vet.
Users can view the latest parasite forecast and disease alert webinars on the go and then complete the quizzes to gain valuable CPD points.
Best for: Initial on-farm early identification of disease affecting livestock
Made by: National Animal Disease Information Service (Nadis)
Price: Free to all beef and sheep producers
User review: “The Nadis app is really helpful in aiding management decisions in the field. When looking at stock, you can check the parasite forecast on your phone and this helps to make a decision whether or not to worm/treat. This saves having to go back into the office to use a computer.”
Staffordshire farmer Jim Beary contract rears 900 calves a year and has a growing flock of Aberfield cross New Zealand Romney’s on a county council farm.
Fertiliser Recommendations Calculator
What it does: Provides advice on more than 30 major UK crops. Based on Defra’s RB209 Fertiliser Recommendations manual, it takes into consideration a host of factors, from soil type to previous crop.
It displays how much of all essential nutrients are required to get the best returns from crops, along with detailed notes on how and when applications should be made.
Organic fertilisers used can be accounted for. Extra features include a standalone organic fertiliser calculator and soil type identifier. Results can be saved or emailed for later reference.
Best for: Believed to be the only app that replicates Defra’s RB209 manual and works on- or offline
Made by: Farming Online
Available on: Android
User review: “The app is so simple to use – you just input the base information and it gives quick and accurate results. Instead of the RB209, which is complicated, with this app you don’t have to use a calculator. I use it in the office to plan ahead, but also to double-check we are still within our nitrogen limits on the final application as we farm in an nitrate vulnerable zone (NVZ). It has definitely saved me money on artificial fertiliser through targeted application.”
Oxfordshire farmer Chris Fenemore has 202ha of NVZ farmland where he runs 500 Mule ewes and a pedigree flock of Cotswolds.
What it does: Designed to reveal the cost weeds inflict on a farm. After calculating the percentage of weed coverage, the cost of this in terms of lost production is shown. The app then determines which product is best for the grassland.
Farmers can send or receive Forefront T stewardships as this product can only be recommended by a Basis agronomist who has undertaken the requisite stewardship training or find their nearest contractor. Dow’s Grassland application has a variety of tools for anyone involved in the treatment of grassland.
Best for: Enables livestock producers to determine the true cost of docks and thistles as measured by the extra output attained if weeds were removed from pasture.
Made by: Farming Online
Available on: Android
User review: “There was a lot more information on this app than I expected to see and I especially like the calculator. It is a very useful and practical tool that I can have on the farm to show a customer the cost of his weed problem and the effect of treatment in terms of additional grass for forage or increased stocking rates. The app only took a few minutes to download and could save me valuable time when I am out field walking.”
Ian Turner, senior agronomist at Agrovista
Purina Sow Heat Stress Manager
What it does: Provides pig producers with a tool to help manage the effect of heat stress. Farmers can calculate the THI for specific conditions.
It also provides management and nutrition tips and changes to watch for when dealing with heat stress in sows. The manufacturer claims it is a lot easier than doing the maths by hand.
It also provides management and nutrition tips and things to watch for when dealing with heat stress in sows.
Best for: Helps pig producers manage and minimise seasonal production losses associated with heat stress.
Made by: Purina Animal Nutrition
User review: No user review available.
Silage Dry Matter Comparison Tool
What it does: The app aims to assist farmers either marketing or buying silage or wet feed to compare feed at different percentages of dry matter (DM) and different prices.
The user keys in the actual weight of the feed, DM percentage, basis percent of DM and price. The app then calculates and returns the actual pounds of DM, pay weight, total cost, price at actual percentage DM and price at 100% DM. This enables the user to compare two cases on an equal basis while on the go using a mobile device.
Best for: Comparing two lots of wet feed and determine which is the best value
Made by: Farmer Apps
Price: $9.99 (£6)
User review: “Well worth the money This sure makes my job a lot easier.”
Anonymous Google Play review
What it does: Claims to save dairy and beef farmers hours a week on paperwork, and gives them peace of mind about EU animal welfare and traceability regulations compliance.
Farm and animal events can be recorded on the smartphone – for example, registering calves, recording vet med or managing the full breeding cycle, even with no internet connection. The cross-platform software works on smartphones and with Windows PC and Mac OSX.
Compliant with Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Bord Bia and the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation. A UK/NI version is currently in development and will be launched in the next few months.
Best for: Created so busy dairy and beef farmers can spend less time on farm paperwork and compliance, and more time on adding value to their end product, which feeds an ever-increasing global population.
Made by: Herdwatch
Price: €99 a year a herd (£70)
User review: “Getting the Herdwatch app is the best thing I have ever done. It brings me completely up to date for cross-compliance and I can register all my cows online.
“The best part is entering information immediately as you go, plus it’s accessible whenever you need it. You always have your phone at hand, so it saves endless hours back in the office and we’re only a small farm.”
Irish dairy farmer Noel Collins milks 70 Friesians in County Cork.
What it does: Makes recording training and development activity easier. It allows Dairy Pro members to store their credentials, get automatically registered at events offering Dairy Pro points, and electronically record their attendance and update their points associated with a range of training and events.
The app will replace traditional membership cards for those wishing to use it. Available in mid-August.
Best for: Recording Dairy Pro points at accredited events and training activities.
Made by: Basis and Ware Anthony Rust
Available on: Android and iOS
User review: No user review available.