Precision animal health technology brings data insights together to help cattle producers make earlier, more informed decisions to help keep animals healthy and productive. The newest tools from Zoetis – Performance Ranch and BLOCKYARD – provide cattle producers the information they need at their fingertips, accessible from digital devices anywhere.
Performance Ranch helps cow-calf producers easily capture health and performance data, manage costs, and track herd inventory in real time. The new cow-calf management software joins the Performance Beef platform, expanding the software solutions developed by Performance Livestock Analytics for cattle producers. The easy-to-use software provides users insights to make informed decisions across financials, nutrition, genetics and animal health. Users are able to access real-time data and see variations in performance to make more informed and earlier decisions on the health and marketability of their animals.
"Data shouldn't be hard. We're all pressed for time," said Scott Cherne, owner and cattle producer, Cherne Angus near Guttenberg, Iowa. "Performance Ranch will allow you to enter as you go, keeping it simple and efficient. You can track everything chuteside or from the pasture in real time, without having to enter it in a spreadsheet or recall what you did later that day."
BLOCKYARD helps collect, transfer, and connect information on individual cattle from multiple sources. The new blockchain solution, developed in collaboration with IBM Consulting and leveraging IBM Blockchain Platform on the IBM Cloud, works with existing cattle management software, such as Performance Ranch, to allow seamless integration of data. BLOCKYARD makes the production, health and genomic information available to all stakeholders on a permissioned basis.
“It’s not about simply gathering more data. It’s about making the data more powerful and useful, so our customers are able to make better management decisions,” said Jason Osterstock, vice president of Precision Animal Health, Zoetis. “Digital and data analytics are disrupting the industry – providing more opportunities to detect and prevent. Instead of a broad sweep at the farm or herd level, we’re helping to improve a producer’s decision making right down to the individual animal.”
Starting with the calf
An animal’s story starts at the ranch with birth records, vaccination status and genetic insights. While the opportunity to collect important data is available, that data may not be recorded at all, or may become lost in a paper shuffle if it is recorded.
“Mobile-first technology provides an easy way to gather daily insights, without changing how a rancher manages their business,” said Dane Kuper, head of Growth and Strategy, Precision Animal Health, Zoetis and cofounder of Performance Livestock Analytics. “Performance Ranch creates a digital record for every animal, starting at birth. It makes it easy for anyone to easily manage and access the real-time information, without digging through a group text message or searching for a notebook or worrying about paper records and information becoming lost.”
Enabling blockchain technology to share the story
The true value of animal data is unlocked when insights flow from the ranch to the feedlot and beyond. Unfortunately, a majority of digital intelligence has been lost and fragmented between segments of the cattle industry, rendering the ability to realize an animal's true worth in the value chain impossible. Oftentimes a buyer does not have access to data on individual genetic potential, animal health records or performance history, and a seller is unable to realize the true value of their investment in the animal.
“BLOCKYARD is like a digital wallet, providing secure access to valuable animal information for cattle buyers and sellers,” explained Osterstock. “By incorporating a virtual marketplace, buyers will know genetic history and vaccination status for core diseases, while the seller is able to access a wider marketplace to provide historic data and validate the quality of their animals.”
Cattle producers may enroll animals in BLOCKYARD to begin the process of securely sharing individual animal data.
Practical solutions for customers
Performance Ranch helps producers gather valuable on-farm data, while BLOCKYARD integrates information from multiple sources and provides the ability to securely share the data. Zoetis is creating an intersection of genetics, precision health tools and software to help producers maximize health and well-being, performance and sustainability across livestock farming operations. The on-farm data may also be meaningful if shared throughout the supply chain in response to consumers’ growing interest in how food-producing animals are raised.
“It’s time we reimagine animal health and advance animal care,” said Osterstock. “Data and technology solutions are abundant in every aspect of life. Zoetis has the same expectation for animal health – and is committed to offering innovative, user-friendly technology solutions to help cattle producers predict, prevent, detect and treat disease.”