Beef farmers selling cattle deadweight could benefit from an app that accurately predicts when each animal should be sold, allowing sellers to market their stock directly to buyers weeks in advance.
The Breedr platform tells farmers when an animal should be sold to get the maximum return and, through its online trading platform, enables them to share information with potential purchasers to attract a premium price.
Speaking to Farmers Weekly at Beef Expo at North West Auctions this week (23 May), company founder Ian Wheal said: “The problem at the moment is farmers only have awareness of the first part of the supply chain: rear the cow, the cow goes to the processor; the processor then churns out the products, which go to the retailer to sell to the consumer.
“The product flow is all one way. What needs to happen is a two-way information flow – if the consumer says they want something, that needs to feed back to the farmer so they can produce it.”
Breedr allows processors to see animals in the pipeline and select the animals that will be within their specification and know when they will be available.
It is currently integrated with various data platforms including Trutest, In Touch and Trent Scales with discussions ongoing with other data platforms.
20 farms are currently using the app, with processor Dunbia involved. The app will be free for farmers to use with a 1% fee on each transaction.
Mr Wheal added: “The supply chain has to work together. This platform will help smooth out the uncertainty, as it will give visibility about what is coming down the line in the future.”
Gary Spence is one of the first farmers supporting the development of Breedr. He rears and finishes between 80-100 calves a year in Northern Ireland.
Mr Spence works with the dairy farmers from which he buys calves to select which bulls work for both breeder and finisher. He uses Breedr to assess sire efficiency.
He said: “The sire report clearly shows me which animals are going to give me the best performance – I am able to see the monetary value of each sire.
“By monitoring performance, we can make better breeding decisions and monitor trends.”