Good grazing is a real science. And an Art. Get your grazing right and your livestock will really benefit. More productive animals mean that you will benefit too.
And after a dry summer, it is more important than ever to think about how best to make your grass really work for you.
Why grazing is key:
- Livestock grazed on well-managed grass can produce healthier and more resilient offspring
- Good grazing techniques can lead to earlier finishing times
- Optimised grazing reduces feed costs by reducing feed purchases
- Well-managed pasture can reduce the overall greenhouse gas emissions of food production
It can be difficult to keep track of how many animals are in which field, grass growth rate, dry matter readings, etc. Surely there is some technology that can help?
How technology can help grazing
Technology is increasingly helping us become more efficient and productive. Also, it allows us to offload tasks that may take a lot of time. Measuring and analysing grass growth is one of them. Remote grass monitoring is now a reality and there are several companies that offer farmers the opportunity to understand what is happening on farm and how they can improve. So, we took a look at one such app.
We wanted to test-drive the grazing app called ruumi to see how it could help make grazing more intelligent.
ruumi was established in 2020 and already serves over 800 farms. It is designed to make it easy for farmers to succeed with rotational grazing and vastly reduce the need for measuring grass manually. Gone are the days of walking around your farm every day or week with a sward stick, or even a platemeter. And you don’t even need to buy an expensive plate-meter on the back of the quad-bike. You can check your grass covers whilst having a cup of tea. Or in a tractor. Or out in the paddock. Or wherever.
What does ruumi do?
ruumi helps farmers make better grazing decisions through the insights it provides. And it is all done without you needing to traverse your farm regularly measuring the differences in height.
ruumi uses multi-spectral satellite data and machine learning to update grass and dry matter readings on a daily basis. This way you can understand grass cover, available feed and grazing days remaining. Some farmers also take plate-meter readings to verify what ruumi is showing. Then ruumi ensures this feeds into more accurate readings in the future: so it will only ever get easier.
It also marries animals on-farm, grouped by class, age and breed, to the grazing records to understand the demand on your fields. And any plate-meter readings you do take to verify data add into the system, as you go.
This means that just using your mobile phone, you can understand when you might want to move or rotate your livestock to a new grazing area. And irrespective of the grazing-style you operate at your farm, it can still show you how much grass you have left for the livestock load in a particular paddock.
So, it helps you to manage pasture and make smarter grazing decisions. This is really helpful if you are looking to grow more grass for your needs and, in turn, reduce feed costs. By using innovative technology, ruumi offers fantastic insights through its mobile and desktop app. You can easily get an understanding of your paddocks, even the harder to reach ones.
I need to pay for more technology?
Most importantly, you can sign up for free at www.rummi.io. And there is a free app to download for Android or Apple devices to work alongside. Just log on to the website and after answering some questions about your operation, you are presented with a satellite image of your farm area. Once you plot your paddocks and add your livestock you are ready to go. It is so simple.
Do I need another bit of software?
Undoubtedly, it can feel like there are too many apps on our phones. But even using ruumi as a way to check in on grazing activity in the same way you would check the weather is really helpful. It’s a good place to start.
Technology that integrates
What’s more, ruumi works hand-in-hand with AgriWebb. Whilst ruumi is a detailed overview of grazing insights at herd or flock level, AgriWebb’s holistic farm overview can serve to understand everything else your livestock operation needs down to individual animal records.
If you have your farm already in AgriWebb, it is easy to transfer farm information to ruumi, so no duplicating is required. And the grazing information from ruumi’s satellite readings can be pushed straight into the AgriWebb system. This means you instantly have really accurate dry matter per hectare readings. And your stocking rates on AgriWebb can also be pulled into ruumi, so you can be sure that your dry matter readings are spot on. This way you can plan ahead for your livestock’s needs, whilst optimising your grass productivity.
So put the two together and you have a really powerful insight into how to manage your grazing and turn grass into gold.
And you don’t need to worry quite so much about feed rations for the winter.
Watch this space for more news on how AgriWebb is partnering with more innovative technology partners to make your operation even more efficient.
Need a reminder about AgriWebb’s grazing features?
Take a look here.
Worried about drought and not enough rain?
Check out our drought resiliency guide.