The user guide for the Bovine Information System (BovIS) is now available and can be downloaded by clicking here
Dr Steven Morrison of AFBI, Hillsborough introduced the 300 farmers attending the Greenmount Centenary Beef Seminars in Enniskillen and Greenmount to the new BovIS on-line bench marking tool which has been developed by AFBI and co-funded by AgriSearch and DARD.
The seven major Northern Ireland abattoirs accounting for 90% of the annual Northern Ireland kill, submit carcass information to the BovIS database every night, this is cross-referenced with animal data downloaded from APHIS.
Producers can access their data through the DARD rural portal. Key benchmarking data can be generated relating to reproductive performance of beef cows, and the growth and carcass quality (both dairy and suckler bred). This easy to use system enables each producer to view information such as tag number, carcass weight, fat class, conformation and carcase growth rates from animals they have recently had killed within one of the seven participating meat plants.
BoVIS has great potential to assist beef herd management where sire information is recorded when animal births are registered on APHIS Aside from being able to track the performance of offspring from different dams and sires, each producer will be able to benchmark the performance of their cattle against producers rearing similar animals. This valuable information can be used by the producer to evaluate their breeding, management and production system.
The system not only allows producers to compare the performance of breed types or breeds, but also compare animal performance during different time frames.
Over the coming months CAFRE will be providing training to ensure farmers get the most from the system but the system is now live and available to all producers registered for DARD on-line services.