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The Toolbox: Brings dairy data to life

Sector News Sector News6-5-2020

Launched at Dairy-Tech 2020, the Toolbox system brings together raw farm data from a wide range of sources and makes it available in one place, to improve its value to producers and their businesses.

“The ToolBox allows us to work with the data sets in partnership with our customers and this enables better discussions and more informed decisions on farm,” explains ForFarmers’ James Hague. “As a total feed business, we can influence the nutrition of dairy herds from the ground up, so finding where the opportunities for efficiency are in the data is invaluable.”

The Toolbox shown on an iPad

Making better data driven decisions

ForFarmers is involved in an industry-led Dairy Productivity Collaboration Group, which clearly identified that a key priority was the need for improved use of data on farm. To this end, the company has invested in a data-sharing platform that allows data from a range of sources to automatically populate the significant number of dairy costings it undertakes for its customers. This data contains a wealth of information but, with so much data, distilling it down into a useable form can be difficult.

The ToolBox is used by ForFarmer’s network of account managers and specialists when working with their customers. “Simple tools, such as our milk price calculator, allow us to look at the value of manipulating milk composition for our customers on manufacturing contracts and, typically, we can identify the opportunity to increase milk price by more than 1ppl,” explains Mr Hague. 

The company’s age-at-first-calving (AFC) tool has identified that dropping the average AFC from 28 to 24 months is worth 1.18ppl for the average herd. “These are valuable differences that we highlight and implement on farm through our advice and feed options.”

Ultimately, the ToolBox has been designed to make data interpretation easier and more valuable. The company says that the real value is in account managers working with decision makers on farm to search for opportunities and put together practical plans to improve the business’ bottom line.

For more information

For more details on the Toolbox and how The Toolbox can improve efficiencies on your farm please talk to you local ForFarmers account manager or contact our team here.