Introducing Livestock and Grazing management

Introducing Livestock and Grazing management

We are thrilled to share with you the first iteration of our new tools for livestock management. This will allow you to keep track of the number of animals and their location on your farm as well as a history of when your fields were grazed. Herd locations appear on the map as colour-coded markers so you can easily see which fields are being grazed. We even do the maths for you by calculating the length of time spent grazing and rest periods.

As you move herds around your farm you will build up their history. This means you can look at a herd and see how long it has been grazing in its current field and which fields it was in previously. You can also look at your field history to see when a field was last grazed and how long it has had to recover.

Whether you have a large grazing operation, a mixed farm or are just beginning to introduce livestock into your arable rotation we hope you will find this useful. Here’s what one of our testers had to say:

“I use fieldmargin on a daily basis, from keeping track of stock numbers and location to planning field work such as planting or spraying. I rave about it to my farmer friends! To summarise all I really need to say is that it is a brilliant, brilliant brilliant app!
I really like the fact that it makes a note in the field when stock is moved in or out. Being able to easily see the number of grazing days and the number of rest days for each field makes everything a lot easier.” 

Andre Christie-Smith – sheep and cattle farmer, South Africa

You can set up 1 animal herd on the free and Essentials plan. Upgrade to Plus for unlimited herds. You can learn more about plans and pricing here.

How it works

  • Set up livestock ‘herds’ which have a location in one of the fields on your farm. 
  • Each herd has an animal type, number of animals and a name where you can add information such as breed or age of the animals in it.
  • See at a glance how many animals you have and when each herd was last moved on the livestock list so that you can quickly check which will need moving soon.
  • As you move herds around your farm you will build up a history of these moves on the herd and on each field so that it’s easy to check when it was last grazed.
  • Empty fields show the number of rest days to help you estimate if they are ready to graze again.

Keeping track of what animals you have on your farm

The livestock on your farm are organised in herds (groups of animals that you are managing together or ‘mobs’). 

Each herd has a type (cattle, sheep, pigs, horses or other), colour, the number of animals and a name which you can use to record further information such as breed or age of animals (e.g. heifers, ewes, Romneys or Fresians). The type and colour will be used for the herd marker to help you differentiate them on the map. You can find full instructions for creating a herd here.

You can edit the number of animals in a herd to keep track of births/deaths, sales or animals that have been moved to a different group.

The livestock list shows you all of the livestock herds that you have on your farm organised by animal type with totals for each type. You can quickly see where your herds are, when they were last moved and how many animals are in each group.

Herds that are in a field will also appear on the map with a marker showing the herd colour and animal type, you can select a marker to see more information on that group. 

Record where your animals are grazing

You can record where your animals are grazing by moving them to a field. Moves can be recorded in a few taps on your phone so it’s quick and easy to do when you are out in the field. 

You can edit the date of a move so if you forget to note it at the time you can make sure your records are accurate. You can also have multiple herds in the same field – handy for when you are running a few groups together. If a herd isn’t in the field at the moment (for example they are being housed over winter) you can record this by moving the animals and setting the location as none. You can find instructions for moving herds here

Once a herd is in a field the app will track how long they have been there so it’s easy for you to see which groups will be running out of grass and are due to be moved.

When a herd is moved out and the field is empty its rest period starts. You can use this to track pasture recovery and see which fields are ready to be grazed again. You can see the length of time a field has been rested on the field information screen. 

Managing your pastures with field history

Each time that you graze your field it is recorded on your field history. This shows you a timeline of when herds were moved in and out of the field.

We do the maths for you by calculating how long your animals were in the field for each grazing period and the length of time the field was left to rest in between being grazed. 

This is visible along side any field jobs you have recorded (for example fertiliser application or silage cuts) and notes that you include with information about pasture condition (for example photos of sward diversity, plate meter measurements or areas with weed issues).

Having all this information at your fingertips saves time when analysing pasture productivity and understanding which management practices are working for your farm.

To access field history select the field you are interested in and go to the Field History tab.

Check the grazing history of your animals

You can easily check where your animals have been for auditing or to understand pasture productivity. Each herd has a history which shows where your animals have grazed, how long and how many animals were in the group at that time. 

Ready start managing livestock on your farm with fieldmargin software? It’s quick and easy to get started, we include 1 livestock herd on our free plan which will allow you to see how the it works. You can sign up and learn more about fieldmargin and our other mapping and record-keeping features on our website here

Unlimited herds are available on our Plus plan, view plans and pricing here.

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