With all this data, it is a common fact that most of it goes unutilized and is often left on the back burner when it could be helping you with your bottom line. BouMatic’s herd management module has many solutions to allow farmers to make conscientious decisions regarding your bottom line. It doesn’t matter how much money a cow made you if it cost you more to get her profitable.
In the “Economics” section of HerdMetrix, there is a feature called “Cow Grade.” Cow Grade allows a user to rate all the animals in the herd based on previously chosen selection criteria. This is important and differs from VAS’s DC 305 in that it allows the farmer to choose which criteria are most important and fi t his operation best. This way if milk quality and reproduction efficiency are the top concerns on the dairy you can rank those higher than total milk production or fat/protein ratios etc.
This report allows a farmer to rank all animals regardless of DIM or parity into one report. For example, let’s say I have an overstocking density of my barn at 110% on average. This is a comfortable and a good number for me to be at. However, 22 months ago I had a very high proportion of heifer calves and now have more springing heifers coming into the herd. I want to keep a higher proportion of springers because cull prices are up and I want to increase the genetic potential of my herd as quickly as possible. Utilizing “Cow Grade” we are now able to level the playing field of all animals regardless of DIM or parity and give them a value. From this we can then choose to filter out any animal with a production of 60 lbs. of milk or higher (depending on what the farmer’s breakeven point is). This allows us to sell the lowest valued cows thereby maximizing potential returns.
As technology keeps increasing and we are making dairies ever more efficient, it is important to be able to utilize the data that is being collected. Cow Grade in addition to other economic tools that HerdMetrix offers like “Economical Performance Report”, and “First Year Budget Forecast,” allow farmers to make the necessary changes in their herds before they don’t have another option, allowing them to make better financial and managerial decisions.
One of the defining features of Cow Grade is that it allows a farmer to change the weight of the inputs deemed necessary at any time. This allows the program to better reflect where a farmer wants to see the herd in the future. Milk price and the market are constantly changing and there are times when it is needed to change some of a herd’s dynamics with it. If a farmer is getting a much higher premium for milk fat/protein ratio then he may want to breed and cull his animals with a heavy deciding factor into this percentage. This compounds onto itself when you consider that fat yield and protein yields are 30% (.3 in Holsteins and .35 in Jerseys) heritable between each other. Below you can see an example of the adjustability Cow Grade has built into it to allow for changing in future herd dynamics