Humans have been dealing with dry seasons since the dawn of time. Droughts forced early farmers to adapt the way they grazed their livestock and how they selected which genetics would stay within their herds. And while present farmers and ranchers are still being affected by inclement weather and forced to think through similar scenarios, they do possess an advantage – powerful data and technology.
AgriWebb teamed up with RanchSense and Regrow for NCBA’s Cattlemen’s webinar “Defeating Drought with Data, Tools + Technology”. The Agtech companies provided attendees with applicable tools and data-collecting technologies to support farmers during drought. Below are some of the strategies that were shared.
Remote water monitoring
At the pointy end of the drought, knowing exactly how much water you have is of utmost importance. As Jimmy Chapman, founder and president of RanchSense, says, “Grass is important, but lack of water kills.”
Whether you’re pushing cattle across a pasture or across the ranch, you need to know there’s a drink at the end of the drive. RanchSense’s remote water monitoring technology means you can keep track of the situation from the ranch office. It saves countless hours spent checking watering points and even sends you a text message as soon as water needs attention.
Better yet, RanchSense integrates with AgriWebb, allowing you to more effectively monitor your water tank levels for even better management.
Remote pasture monitoring
Getting an accurate read on your pastures used to mean leg work and lab work. Now, remote sensing via satellite gives you accurate and up-to-date data, so you know how much feed you have on hand.
Regrow draws on years of data to provide ranchers with insights. “We literally have every 16-day period from 1999 to the present, so that you can compare them through time and see what pastures look like,” says Matthew Jones, Regrow’s senior remote sensing scientist.
Reviewing how pasture performed in previous dry years means you can make better-informed decisions around buying supplementary feed or selling cattle if similar conditions arise. On larger properties, having a clearer overview of pasture conditions and feed availability means you can identify grazing opportunities you were previously unaware of.
Beyond knowing the amount of feed you have, ReGrow gives you insight on your pasture mix. You can identify where you need to diversify pasture species, improving soil and building resiliency ahead of drought.
Individual animal management
While it is always ideal for ranchers to identify their best and worst performers, it’s vital during drought, especially when you may have to destock your herd. Having key performance indicators for your cattle – whether it’s around fertility or feed efficiency – means you can make informed, powerful decisions.
AgriWebb’s Individual Animal Management platform allows you to track an animal’s lifetime performance. Remove under-performers from your herd, and a forced cull can become an opportunity to increase long-term productivity and profitability.
Leveraging all your data for better decisions
Knowing your available forage and water is one thing, but that alone won’t get your herd and land through a drought in good shape. You need to optimize your pasture utilization sustainably.
AgriWebb brings all your data together and tells you how long your stock can graze in a pasture before they need to move. You can optimize rotational grazing to improve water and land management.
“At AgriWebb, we cover everything in the ranching business, from all of your animal records and data to pasture records,” explains John Fargher, co-founder of AgriWebb. “You have all the power at your fingertips in one holistic decision-making tool.”
If you’re ready to start leveraging technology to more effectively manage your ranch through drought, try AgriWebb FREE for 14 days. Even better, we are in the process of integrating with other technologies like Regrow Ag and RanchSense to ensure ranchers like you have one place that houses all of your data.