Summary

HerdMaster is a full herd management system. As well as meeting all your legislative needs, such as calf registration and Bord Bia/Department of Agriculture inspections, it has a big focus on improved farm profitability in terms of beef margins, milk production, breeding data, fertility improvement and much more.

It links the farm with all the key national organisations such as ICBF, Agfood and Teagasc. In links farm data with marts, meat factories, weighing scales and much more. It works with detailed smart phone software that allows key data to be viewed and record, fully offline, while outside.

It provides a one-stop shop that is backed up with very good training and technical support.

Videos

Introduction to Herdmaster

Stock, AI, Addresses, Drugs Part 1

Stock, AI, Addresses, Drugs Part 2

Key stock reports Part 1

Key stock reports Part 2

5 Key Animal Events Part 1

5 Key Animal Events Part 2

Calf Registration

AgriNet have been registering calves by email to the Department of Agriculture for 13 years. In 2013 this email system was replaced with a new web service link that sends the calf birth data direct from HerdMaster farm software to the agfood Department database. You get a real time feedback immediately if there are any problems with calf data (eg sire ID wrong, too many twins, etc). In one screen you can see a list of all recent calf registrations and movement permit requests.

Calf registration can obviously also be done directly on Agfood, but it is convenient to keep all your data in one place and do all jobs from one system.

Movement Permits

In the same “Calf Registration” screen where calf registrations can be completed and monitored, you can also pick calves and request a movement permit for them. You get real time feedback if there are any issues with the calves not being eligible to get a permit (eg missing herd test). When a permit is issued it is emailed by the Department of Agriculture direct to your email software. You just print it off and sell the animals.

Movement permits can obviously also be done directly on Agfood, but it is convenient to keep all your data in one place and do all jobs from one system.

Farm Inspections

Over the years there have been a large number of farm inspections done where AgriNet software has been used for the herd register and also for the animal remedies records.

The software contains a Department of Agriculture approved bovine herd register. You can use this as your register or you can select Agfood as your register. There is a report called “Herd Register” that contains the herd register plus all the animal remedies for a Department or Bord Bia inspection. All the data for the inspector is in one place. The animal remedies can be recorded on the Smartphone or the PC.

ICBF Data

Extensive use is made of ICBF data when starting a new client and also for updating data as time passes. This includes milk records, EBI, plan bull records, classifications, pedigree data and back ancestry. All this data is visible also on the Smartphone app. AI technician serves and weights can also be loaded from ICBF.

All required data can then be sent back to ICBF. The animal events exported to ICBF are: Calve, Castrate, Die, Dry Off, Diagnose, Heat Noticed, Mastitis, Preg Test, Run bull, Sale, Serve AI, Serve Farm Bull, To Cull, Wean, Weigh. If you record these events on your phone or PC they can all be sent to ICBF electronically.

When calving a cow, if you put a pedigree name on the calf, the next time you send data to ICBF, you will get a pedigree cert for this animal. (Note: The Smartphone has a nice system to make sure every new pedigree name is unique and has never been used before).

Beef Analysis              

For beef finishers there is an excellent reporting area that allows you to monitor performance of past animals and make plans for current beef animals. Good examples of questions that can be answered in this reporting area

  • What is the margin per day on the farm for all animals sold recently?
  • How did the last batch of animals sold to the factory perform in terms of margin per day, carcase grade, dead weight, value/kilo, etc?
  • Which mart seems to be the best place to buy animals?
  • Which factory do I seem to get better prices from?
  • If I want to sell to Factory X in 2 month’s time, how many animals currently on the farm will suit the type of animal that this factory is looking for?
  • What is the average daily gain for the last batch of beef animals that I weighed?
  • What is relative performance of bulls v bullocks v heifers?

Feed Allocation           

This provides a system to allocate feed to groups of beef animals. For example, buy in a beef bullock on Oct 15 and sell it on 03 April next. Tell the software that this bullock joined the “Big Shed” feed group. Then tell the software that the “Big Shed” feed group got 8 kgs of silage and 4 kgs of a particular beef ration right through the winter. The software can then calculate the total feed costs for the number of days that this bullock is on the farm. This data then shows up in the Beef Analysis report, when presented the margin per day made on this bullock, after feed and other direct costs such as drugs have been subtracted.

Weights Analysis

In recent years there has been a big increase in weighing of beef animals and also in weighing dairy heifer replacements. The HerdMaster software can import weights electronically from a number of electronic weighing scales.

Live weights can also be entered very efficient on the herd smartphone app, which is very handy if you have a simple scales with just a live-weight display rather than an inbuilt computer.

In the “Beef Analysis” report, there is an area devoted to analysis of live weight performance. It also contains a report focused purely on dairy heifer replacements where the software calculates the desired target heifer weight based on her breed, month of birth, month of first calving and desired weight for calving down.

Beef Data Scheme       

This section manages all data entry for the original Suckler Cow Scheme and the replacement Beef Data Schemes. All events can then be emailed to ICBF.

Milk Analysis              

Milk recording data is available from ICBF and is used extensively in a number of reports. You can quickly sort cows, and filter cows, based on monthly milk recording results such as yield, fat, protein, SCC, etc.

There is a system to quickly enter the A+B-C milk valuation for each month of recording. This then puts a value on each cow’s monthly milk and it also adds up the total annual value for the milk for each cow. Sorting and filtering cows based on their milk values is always very informative.

There is a report to compare this year’s milk production with the same time last year and you can analyse trends in SCC and identify problem cows quickly. All milk recording and EBI data is also available for viewing on the Smartphone app.

Milk Production          

For years the AgriNet HerdMaster software has had a very good milk quota calculator which has helped many clients avoid super levy fines. It has proven to be very accurate.

While quotas are now gone, this report will be kept for two reasons. First, some co-ops will want to know a plan for total milk production for the year so they can plan their processing. And second, planning milk production for cash flow planning on the farm will also be very useful, especially in years of low milk price.

Health Analysis           

This report presents summarises all data entered during the last year and allows a user to quickly count animals with specific problems. For example, numbers of animals that were diagnosed with problems or that died can be seen at a glance alongside numbers of animals with SCC problems or unusual fat to protein ratios. You can view graphs where problems in the milk recording data show up in bar graphs and scatter graphs. All problem animals can be included by the user in a list which might later be used by a vet who is visiting the farm soon.

Fertility Lists               

HerdMaster has a range of reports in the area of fertility management and fertility problem solving. The first report area contains the simple action lists, called “Due to Reports”. These include due to calve, due to dry, due a 1st serve, due to repeat and due a pregnancy test. These are available on the Smartphone also.

We would recommend using the “Heat Noticed” event as this helps identify cows that are not cycling. The pregnancy test system has a re-scan option, in the event that the cow is not many days in calf when she is confirmed in calf initially. If a cow was served 3 times but the scanner confirms she was in calf to the 2nd serve, the software has a way to handle this.

If you use the Dan Ryan service all pregnancy tests, internal exams, farm bull serves and culling decisions can be imported electronically.

Fertility Problems       

The AgriNet HerdMaster software has included a lot of options to shortlist animals with potential fertility problems that need to be examined by yourself or your vet. Examples are

  • Select cows calved x days and not seen in heat yet
  • Select heifers born more than x days and not seen in heat yet
  • Select cows calved in last x days and not cleaned out OK
  • Select cows with irregular cycle intervals
  • Select cows with large monthly milk drops
  • Select cows with poor fat and protein ratios
  • And much more

Fertility Analysis         

While the biggest focus will be to manage the fertility situation for this season and for the current group of cows, it is also useful to analyse the fertility performance for past breeding seasons. This can help identify reasons for poor fertility performance. AgriNet HerdMaster has a very detailed report for fertility analysis.

It calculates all the key summary fertility data, but also allows you to drill down on all the numbers so you know how they are calculated. For example, if this report says you have too many cows with irregular cycle intervals, you can drill down to see which cows make up this result. This report can answer lots of questions, examples are...

  • Which AI technician had better success rates
  • Which bull had better success rates
  • What is the calving to calving interval
  • What is the average age at 1st calving for all heifers
  • What is the conception rate to 1st, 2nd, 3rd serves
  • What is the submission rate
  • And much more

Breeding Analysis       

This report focuses on bull selection, EBI reporting, inbreeding checks and plan bull records. An ICBF dairy bull file with extensive data for over 5,500 bulls can be used to shortlist bulls based on various values such as EBI components and other data. You can then tag the bulls that you plan to use in next year's breeding season. You can do inbreeding checks to see which of these tagged AI codes were used in the herd in the past. You can manually create planned bull records, or you can download plan bull records from ICBF if you use the ICBF bull mating system. An EBI report exists to look at EBI data for all your own breeding stock and this is frequently used when picking animals for sale.

Stock Analysis            

This is a key report for tracking stock movements during the year and is ideal for the farm accountant at the end of the year. Like all HerdMaster reports, you can click on any number to see the list of animals that make up this number. For example, if this report says you have 21 animals over 24 months on the first day of the year, you can double click on 21 and the 21 relavant animals will be listed with all their tags, dates of birth, breeds, etc. If you double-click further on this list of 21 animals it drills down to the Cow Card reports where you can see extensive data for each individual animal. There is also a system to enter a value for each animal type so you can see the change in stock valuation from between the start date and end date of the year.

There is a stock analysis report designed specifically for use by Teagasc profit monitors. It presents the data exactly as required by eProfit Monitor and again has all the drill down facilities.

Sale Catalogues          

There are a range of well formatted sale catalogue reports that you can provide to people who visit the farm to purchase livestock. There is also a “Sales Catalogue” report for dairy farmers where you can pick animals for sale and allocate them a lot number. You can then create a Taaffe formatted catalogue and email this straight to a printer for preparation of a catalogue. Or print on to your own printer.

B & B System

If you move animals to another farm for feeding, you can use our B & B system. You can request a movement permit direct from HerdMaster to agfood and agfood will email the permit within minutes to your email inbox. You can then batch record all animals when they move. This creates a record in the herd register. When you run the stock analysis report for Nitrates, the system knows not to count the N & P for these B&B stock but when you run the stock analysis report for your Accountant, these B&B animals are included. This system is ideal for dairy farms that are moving young stock to other farms for rearing.

Filters and Reports

HerdMaster has a lot of ways to pick and choose the data that you want to look at. When in reports, you always have a yellow line at the top of the report where you can shortlist, or filter, what you are looking for. Eg filter on date of birth, SCC, date due to calve, date last calved, filter on sex, sire, dam, the options are extensive. You can quickly change the columns of data from pedigree to traceability to fertility. When in a list report you can double-click to drill down to the Cow Card individual animal reports where you can get a lot of detail for one animal.

Cow Cards                  

A number of individual animal reports are designed especially for the dairy cow and there are also a range of individual animal cow card reports for the beef and suckler animals. A range of data for one animal is displayed on the screen. These combine fertility, progeny, milk records, ancestry, vet events, etc. These cow card reports are available from all list reports. For example, if you are looking at a list of cows due to calve, you can double-click on the top cow to get a detailed fertility report for that cow. You can then flick down through all the other cows due to calve soon.

Sheep Records

The sheep section is built around the National Sheep Identification System (NSIS). A considerable amount of management functionality has been added to NSIS to maximise the management benefits of tagging sheep. It allows you to maintain a Department Approved Flock Register. You can do an end of year flock reconciliation to identify sheep with missing tags. Sheep can be recorded as missing as well as died or sold. A report is available to crosscheck the flock during the reconciliation process. As sheep are tagged, full detail is provided on tag colour, ear to be used and recording of tags of origin and tags removed from the right ear. All data can be entered in batches for speed of data entry.

If lambs are tagged at birth, full ancestry records are maintained for the flock. Lean Meat Index (LMI) and scrappie status can also be recorded. You can record a wide variety of sheep events and notes.

At the end of the year, you can filter ewes that have had particular breeding or health problems. You can analyse sheep stock movements, display the start numbers, the end numbers, and all movements in and out between two selected dates.

While in any of the sheep reports, double-click on a sheep and a detailed report becomes available for each sheep. This report is fully customisable so you can pick and choose the data that you wish to look at. You can select from a wide variety of management reports. There is great flexibility to filter sheep that meet chosen criteria and look at different data for these sheep

Tillage Records           

For dairy, beef and sheep farmers with a tillage enterprise on the farm, the AgriNet software provides a tillage solution both from a field management and a financial management point of view.

What crops and what fields are producing the highest and the lowest gross margins per hectare and per tonne? Based on the cost of all actions and inputs, plus the income from grain and straw sales, the gross margin can be calculated and compared against other crops and fields.

All crop inputs can be allocated in batches for speed of data entry. Traceability of inputs through individual crops provides data for tillage crop assurance schemes. Soil samples, fertilizers and sprays can be recorded for all fields in batch format for speed of data entry.

Nitrates/REPS             

When the nitrates directive was introduced, AgriNet spent a lot of time building a nitrates and REPS section in the software. This area works very well and it implements the nitrates directive from A to Z.

It calculates stock numbers and nutrient production from farm animals and allows for animals that are out for B and B feeding as well. It literally counts up each day’s N and P contribution from each animal for each day of the year that this animal is on the farm.

This calculation is very accurate when compared to the Department of Agriculture official calculations. You can plan future stock numbers for the remainder of the year to stay below the 170 target kg N/Ha for the nitrates directive. While you might want your adviser to do a fertilizer plan, you will have no problem using the stock area in the nitrates section to know exactly what N & P your stock will produce.

This section also calculates how much more N and P you can buy before the end of the year. You can record all purchases, sales and applications of fertilizers. All fertilizer applications can be done in a batch screen for speed and accuracy of data entry. You can view actual versus target for nutrient applications on a farm basis and also on an individual field basis.

You can create a fertilizer plan for the current year and you can print a fertilizer account for last year, thereby being fully compliant with the nitrates directive.

Getting Started

The herd is started on AgriNet electronically using data from the ICBF and agfood.ie (Department of Agriculture). This means that very little data entry is needed to get the herd started correctly. Data can be updated on an ongoing basis from agfood and ICBF.

Print this order form to your printer.

If you prefer to pay the annual fee  by direct debit print this form.

Batch Data Entry

A large amount of data can be entered in batch format for speed of data entry. This includes doses, treatments, live weights, herd test results, temperament data, beef data scheme information, purchases, sales, etc.

Links to Factories       

A number of meat factories can email you the results of the kill when you send a batch of animals to the factory. The factories are ABP, Dawn, Liffey and Kepak. For example, if you sell 20 animals in a load, an email will arrive from the factory that contains all the data needed, animal ID, dead weight, carcase grade, commissions, and so forth. You need to ask the factory for the file with the first load, but the factory systems automatically send the email for subsequent loads.

This file saves you a lot of data entry, and provides you with a lot of valuable management data, as well as updating your bovine herd register and all your stock reports (accountant, eProfit Monitor, Nitrates). It makes the Beef Analysis report very useful and accurate. We have a number of beef finishing farms that load almost all their data from marts and meat factories.

Links to Marts

Most marts can email you a file with all the transactions with that mart. Any animals bought or sold will be included with all relevant data such as animal ID, breed, sex, value, live weight, and so forth. You need to ask the mart for the file with the first load, but the mart systems automatically send the email for subsequent days buying or selling.

This file saves you a lot of data entry, and provides you with a lot of valuable management data, as well as updating your bovine herd register and all your stock reports (accountant, eProfit Monitor, Nitrates). It makes the Beef Analysis report very useful and accurate. We have a number of beef finishing farms that load almost all their data from marts and meat factories.

Links to Scales

The software links to a range of weighing scales, SR300, XR3000, EziWeigh, Gallagher and Digi-Star. We can send animal data down to scales (if the scales is able to receive data) and we can upload all weighs electronically from the scales if the scales has it's own computer. As soon as the weights have been uploaded the Beef Analysis report pops up and is a good place to view reports on average daily gain, etc.

Don't forget that our Smartphone software is a very efficient way to record data from a very simple scales with just a visual display.

Links to Parlours        

In the parlour link, you can export animal events to a milking parlour. The events that are transferred are Calve, Heat, Serve, Pregnancy Test, Mastitis and Dry Off. You can also import milk yield data from the milking machine in to HerdMaster. It is also possible to send drafting instructions to the parlour.