Farmer Focus: Software makes compliance so much easier

How is it December already? Am I getting older or does time genuinely just speed up? Winter routine is now in full swing and, so far, things are going reasonably well.

Last week, my stress levels peaked when our first Co-op farm audit took place. We had the usual mad rush of cleaning and tidying.

What was notable was how much simpler we can now make farm audits by using technology.

See also: 12 must-have phone apps for cattle farmers

I probably risk sounding like we are still in the dark ages, but our cow programme, Uniform, came into its own.

Medicine records, mobility scoring, condition scoring, and fertility reports are now available at the push of a button. Not only is it so much quicker, but it is also invariably more accurate.

I cannot take all the credit; our employee Jess is a dab hand at this side of things. We have ensured data inputting is part of our weekly routine.

This idea of simplicity is something we are trying to integrate into other areas of the business. For example, we bought our review meeting with our agronomist forward to before Christmas.

It was useful to review the year while it was fresh in our minds, but it also helped us to easily see where improvements can be made.

We agreed that, overall, the year had gone well, helped by the weather, of course, but also a lot of hard work from our agronomist, Ian Evans, and us on the ground.

We are now looking at an app called MyFarm, to input crop records and plan operations. This will hopefully simplify data inputting on the cropping side of the business and allow us to record more detail. 

Interestingly, we have had two cows calve with twisted uteruses in the past two months. Having never seen one since I have been home, it seems a bit odd.

Could it be the larger Belgian Blue calves, or do we just put it down to one of those things and move on?

A winter lockdown already feels a lot harder than the summer one. At least in the summer we were able to get out in the longer evenings. Let’s hope this imminent vaccine can solve what has been a very trying time for everyone.

Read more about Shropshire farmer Henry Wilson