National Milk Records (NMR) is one of the leading suppliers of milk testing services in the UK and offers a range of additional services help dairy farmers manage their herd’s production, health and fertility. It goes without saying that huge amounts of data are generated between the dairy farm office and the NMR central recording system, and these days most of this data is in electronic form.
These days, turning data into useful information for effective herd management surely needs computer software, and while NMR offers its customers access to electronic reports via the NMR website, there are advantages to having a dairy software package on farm.
Advantages of using dairy software for herds that perform NMR Assisted Recording
The NMR “Assisted Milk Recording” service is used by many dairy farms to benefit from official authenticated production and breeding data. This requires that the farm keeps accurate records all cow breeding events and health problems, and then transfer this information to the NMR central database. While it is possible for the farmer to provide paper herd records to the NMR technician who visits each month, all this data will need to be manually entered into the NMR central database. However, this takes time and inaccuracies can and do occur.
Dairy farms using herd management software not only get the benefits of real-time reports for day-to-day cow management, but the software will also generate a data file which holds all the required monthly data for the NMR database. In fact, at the time of writing, the Orchid FarmWizard software is being updated to make use of a new “one click” data transfer mechanism, which will transmit the data directly from the dairy farm to NMR via the Internet – it won’t get much easier than that.
Loading milk test data from NMR Assisted Recording into dairy herd software
Once the individual milk samples have been collected and analysed in the lab for butterfat, protein and somatic cell count, the herd manager needs to have access to this information as soon as possible to take cow management decisions. Most dairy software, including Orchid FarmWizard has a comprehensive range of reports to help the farmer look a the performance of the whole herd, while also being able to drill into the data to identify the best and worst performing cows. While NMR can provide farmers paper-based reports each month, nothing can beat a computer for speed and accurancy in analysing electronic data and presenting the herd manager with the key indicators of performance.
For herds using the NMR Assisted Milk Recording service, milk test data can be quickly loaded into dairy management software via the “Datastream” file format. All the farmer needs to do is request the set up of a “Data Download” account for his herd on the NMR website.
Loading milk test results from other NMR milk recording services into dairy software
For farms that don’t require the full authenticated milk recording service, NMR offers other “DIY” options and their “Essential Sampling” service. For these services, NMR will provide the milk test results in the form of a CSV file, which is basically a simplified spreadsheet. NMR usually sends the CSV file as an email attachment, which can be accessed via software programs like Microsoft Excel. However, this will only give a narrow “snapshot” view of the herd’s milking performance..
Better still, the CSV file can also be loaded easily, “as is”, into the Orchid FarmWizard cloud software. As with the datastream format, the software incorporates the data into a range of clear reports enabling the herd manager to make better cow management decisions much more quickly than sifting through a stack of paper reports. For example, each cow can be compared against it’s previous month’s performance, or the group of cows calving in a particular month can be compared against the same monthly group from the previous year.
For further information about Orchid FarmWizard’s compatibility with NMR milk recording data, give us a call today on 01536 443300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org