Body condition scoring made easy with new app
Dairy Australia has released a new smart phone app to help body condition score cows more effectively.
Designed in consultation with dairy farmers and advisors, the 'Cow Body Condition Scoring Tool' app is easy to use featuring large graphics to help dairy farmers and advisors get a standardised measure of cows' body energy and protein reserves at critical times of lactation.
Dairy Australia's feedbase program manager, John Evans, said the app will help farmers working with seasonal and split calving herds take greater control over their herd's feeding.
"The app has been designed to make the body condition scoring process easier so farmers can realise the benefits in their herd's reproductive performance and milk production.
"In the past farmers and advisors would have referred to photos in books such as the Condition Magician. This app uses the same simple scoring method using the graphics and the touch screen and it takes only seconds to score each cow," he said.
The app also features three scoring methods are also available to suit beginners, intermediate and advance users so anyone is able to use it, Evans said.
Herd results are provided instantly after each scoring event with suggested actions to consider. A results summary including a graph can then be emailed as a permanent record.
Tasmanian-based herd nutrition advisor, Pip Gale, of Vanguard Nutrition said the app will make the recording process easier for farmers and the high quality of reporting would be of great value.
Gale states: "The great thing about the app is that you can take it anywhere, anyone can use it and you can circulate the information on the spot.
"It's often the case that you are out in the paddock with your pen and paper and you are trying to record your BCS average by hand so the app makes the process easier that way. Sometimes you lose the piece of paper so to have a permanent record saved on the phone for next time that you can immediately compare with is very handy."
Farm stakeholders such as vets and farm owners could also be kept up-to-date as the results summary could be emailed. As the results were also offered in graph form they were also easier to interpret, Gale said.
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