British beef suckler farmers will be able to share real-time cattle data with their vet while in the field thanks to a new mobile app.
The Herd Health Planning app enables farmers to collect and record data as events occur – and immediately share this with their vet.
Vets can then analyse the information and help farmers set priorities, and improve efficiency and animal health, through the health planning process.
The app, created by Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), includes an e-medicine book which complies with farm assurances and other statutory requirements.
It is also connected to the British Cattle Movement Service’s tracing system (BCMS), meaning cattle records such as births, deaths and movements, can be updated instantly.
No internet is required to record events, with all data stored locally on the app and sent to both BCMS and Animal Health Planning System (SAHPS) as soon as Wi-Fi and/or mobile data become available.
SRUC's health planning development manager, Dr Foteini Manolaraki said: “We recognise that time is a precious commodity for today’s farmers.
"Rather than taking notes while out in the field or in the shed and then copying them into the computer, this new app allows them to share their cattle data with their vet while on the move.
"This information is then shared multiple times via BCMS and SAHPS software, which could allow earlier vet intervention if necessary.”
What does the app allow farmers to do?
The app, which is now downloadable for Android and Apple devices, allows farmers to:
• Provide early communication of herd health to their vet
• Download all cattle currently on the holding through BCMS
• Record bulls in/out dates
• Record movements, births, deaths and upload to BCMS
• Record disease incidents and production data
• Record animal treatments, creating the e-medicine book
• Record and save data off-line
• Enter information once and use it multiple times