PastureMap useful in intensive grazing systems
“One of the things that we hear a lot is that there’s not great record keeping tools for intensive grazing or that people are adopting tools that are built for other things,” says PastureMap Co-founder and CEO Christine Su.
Su began developing the app as a custom solution for intensive grazing systems management.
“We want to make it easy for producers at the beginning of the season to plan out their fencing, to subdivide as they go along and also to record where their herds have moved,” she continues.
“The first feature that we built was the ability to easily draw up pastures,” explains Su.
The program automatically calculates the acreage and perimeter of each pasture.
From there, users are able to begin planning subdivisions in each pasture for use throughout the grazing season.
“We can either plan our fencing on website side of the system, sync it up to our mobile device and go out and build fence, or we can build fence by being outside and assessing how much we need to subdivide and log it in our mobile device. Then, when we get back home, it will sync back up, and we’ll have that record,” she notes.
Once users are done moving herds through each subdivision, each one can be archived and re-fenced.
According to Su, PasureMap includes a simple, “bare bones” herd management feature.
Each group can be listed as a herd, with information including the number of animals and weight estimates, which are converted to animal units, and average daily gain (ADG).
“We wanted to give some sort of assumption for weight gain that translates into the dry matter intake (DMI) that they’re eating,” says Su. “It will continue to get bigger as the herd gains weight.”
Users are able to upload ear tag numbers to correspond with each animal in the herd, and weight records can be added individually or for the entire group.
When moving the herd into different pastures, users are able to choose a move-in date and time and determine which herds are moving, and the system will calculate the daily DMI for the herd.
“We’ll give users an estimate of how much dry matter the cattle took off based on the herd’s dry matter intake,” she explains.
Another feature available through the app is pasture inventory, says Su.
“If we have been trained to assess available dry matter, we can do that, or we can list the number of animal unit days,” she continues. “We don’t use this for calculations but so we have it in our records.”
Users are able to take photos to record forage use and availability at a given time.
“This is useful for people who have staff, as we can have that eye in the field by asking our staff to take pictures pre- and post-grazing,” Su explains.
As most users don’t have access to cellular service while in the pastures, photos are first stored locally on their phone.
“When we get back to Wi-Fi reception, it’ll sync back up with the system, upload those photos to the account and remove them from the phone’s local memory,” she continues.
The system also has grazing innovators listed, who are experts in their field and provide support to new users.
Varying levels of membership are available for producers to choose from, ranging from a free, basic version to commercial operations, with subscriptions available on an annual or monthly basis.
“We developed the monthly pricing for users who only graze seasonally. It is more expensive since it’s intended for users who will only input data for one to three months,” concludes the app. “We recommend the annual membership for most ranchers.”
Emilee Gibb is editor of Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.