The forthcoming sheep movement regulation changes (April 2014 and January 2015) undoubtedly signal the start of a changeover from paper-based to full electronic recording systems.
The success of the Cattle Tracing System (CTS), run by the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS), has shown that farmers are willing to adopt electronic movement reporting if it’s easy to use, reliable and accurate.
However, aside from a few early adopters and pedigree flocks where it has made sense to implement electronic identification (EID), most commercial sheep farmers have had little reason to date to consider using information technology to help manage their flock records. By implementing on-farm recording software, cattle farmers are not only able to meet statutory requirements, but also record and analyse data which helps them to make better management decisions.
The same opportunity now presents itself to the sheep farming industry. Coupling an electronic tag reading device with a software package that can store and analyse the data will enable sheep farmers to easily comply with the new movement regulations, and also have access to valuable information which will help improve flock profitability over time.
Better still, the Animal Reporting and Movement Service (ARAMS) that’s now up and running will shortly be offering farm software providers the ability to link their products to the ARAMS database. This means that farmers will only need to enter data once using a tag reader and handheld computer, and then be able to update ARAMS with just a few mouse clicks. Orchid is aiming to use it’s 25 years of livestock software experience to help the sheep farmers reap the benefits of information technology. We recommend you keep an eye on the Orchid blog over the coming months or sign up for our newsletter to keep up with the latest developments.