A snapshot of technology and the benefits which can be derived from it, will be highlighted in a series of seminars taking place at the National Beef Association (NBA) Beef Expo on Thursday 21st May 2015.
Presenters will also be looking into their hi-tech crystal balls and predicting how new technology will bring about future developments within the beef industry.
Taking place at the York Auction Centre, this, the beef industry’s flagship spring event, will host three seminars designed to attract beef farmers and processors looking to create a sustainable enterprise for the future. Sharing their knowledge and the most up to date information, the speakers are all experts from a range of sectors within the Beef industry. The aim is to help farmers and processors understand what technology is currently available, what will be available in the very near future, what will become available in the longer term and how this technology can work for farmers.
The three seminars are:
1) EID Benefits the Beef Industry
2) VIA the Future of Grading
3) Remote Cattle Management – Advances in Cattle Management
Reflecting key changes in the sector at the moment, this year’s topics have been carefully chosen to provide Beef Farmers with a better understanding of how to utilise technology to better support their enterprise’s and highlight what the future holds for the industry.
Giving a flavour of the seminars’ content is Chair of the EID seminar and a committee member of NBA Beef Expo 2015, Mike Powley, who farms at Elm House Farm near York, said: “Technology is much more useable and affordable now than it has been in the past, and we use it widely on the farm. However the majority of farmers are not aware of what technology can do for them, these seminars will demonstrate how technology can be integrated and how it can save time and money, and ultimately resolve problems.
“For example, ‘Heat Time Collars’ are able to spot when an animal is on heat. This gives farmers the opportunity to plan and choose a truly international bull to maximise the traits they are looking for, using AI as opposed to using your everyday stock bull on the farm.
“In the future there will be far fewer people working on farms, the introduction of technology will make those few much more productive.”
The format of the seminars presents a lively carousel of ideas and opinion on the three themes. Each speaker will be given 15 minutes for a presentation with 15 minute Q & A session at the end.
Chaired, by Mike Powley, the “EID Benefits the Beef Industry” speakers are Robert Neill of Upper Nisbit Farm, near Jedburgh, Robin Batchelor Caisley Ear Tags and Chris Mallon from the NBA speaking legislation.
Robert Neill was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship in 2013. His study topic is Electronic Identification (EID) in the Cattle Industry.
“EID Makes it easier to weigh animals more quickly and does the number crunching for you. This information is invaluable for budgeting, planning and overall farm efficiency.
“It is the old story of if you cannot measure it you can’t manage it – and It is using the technology that is helping to do this for you. This is the aid to help in terms of accuracy and being able to micro manages your cattle.”
In the “VIA the Future of Grading” seminar being chaired by John Hoskins, beef farmer and NBA director Adrian Ivory of Strathisla Farms will give practical examples as to how VIA will change his selection and breeding policies going forward.
The third and final seminar of the day Remote Cattle Management and Advances in Cattle Management will be overviewing precision farming in the beef industry, focussing on the opportunities for genetic improvement through reproductive technologies.
Jonathan Statham, of Bishopton Vets gives some background: “Up to now, the use of reproductive processes such as AI, embryo transfer and IVF in the beef industry has been limited; the extensive nature of beef farming, coupled with limited labour on farm, has meant there’s not the same opportunity to have contact, close monitoring and observation of heat as there is in the dairy industry. However, emerging technologies such as activity meters, rumen temperature boluses, GPS mapping and other spatial systems give us the opportunity to plan well synchronised programmes in the beef industry that will be pivotal to achieving better fertility performance.”
As well as the three seminars, the NBA Beef Expo offers the opportunity to meet with breeders and learn more about the industry’s latest technical developments. This spectacular showcase event has something for everyone involved in the beef sector, this is the best opportunity of the year for everyone to network, meet potential new customers and take home a few new ideas.
Anyone wishing to attend this event can obtain further details by visiting the website www.beefexpo.co.uk.